Computer simulations show that high blood pressure can be entirely explained by arterial stiffening as we age, say researchers.
High blood pressure dramatically increases the risk of a stroke or heart attack and so is one of the biggest silent killers in the Western world.
But while there are several known mechanisms that cause high blood pressure, some 90% of cases are entirely unexplained. Physicians believe that various factors increase the risk of high blood pressure, such as age, family history, lack of exercise and so on. But the actual mechanism that causes the increase is hotly debated.