London Chest Hospital trials device that 'may cut blood pressure'

A new treatment being pioneered in an east London hospital aims to cut the number of strokes and heart attacks in people with high blood pressure.

The London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green will try placing a small coupler between the artery and vein in patients' upper thigh.

It diverts some arterial blood to the veins, lowering blood pressure.

The hospital claims its clinical trial has the potential to "transform" the lives of patients.

The treatment will be on offer to people in whom three or more drugs have failed to reduce blood pressure.

Mother-of-two Jackie Walker, 51, from Eastbourne, was one of the first patients to undergo the procedure.

'Dark cloud'

She said: "The worry I might have a stroke or a heart attack at any time is always in the back of my mind.

"The thought that this new procedure could have an immediate impact on my blood pressure without side effects is just fantastic.

"I'm hoping I can stop living with a dark cloud hanging over me all the time."

Dr Mel Lobo said: "One might even speculate such treatment may herald a new era in which patients may ultimately be freed from the need to take anti-hypertensive drugs on a daily basis."

An estimated 16m people suffer from high blood pressure in the UK.

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