Researchers identify oral bacteria strains linked to high blood pressure

A clinician wraps a blood pressure cuff around an older patient's arm

As researchers study trillions of tiny organisms living in the human body, they continue to look for associations with different conditions – including high blood pressure.  

And in the first study to assess links between tiny bacterial strains in the mouth and blood pressure levels among older women, researchers identified 15 strains associated with high blood pressure or hypertension. Among these bacterial strains, 10 were positively associated with hypertension. Five had negative associations. The authors conclude more research is needed to confirm these observations and to explain potential underlying mechanisms. They also shared that this type of research may help personalize future therapies for hypertension. 

The study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association and was supported by NHLBI, the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research, the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.