High blood pressure affects 16 million people in the UK, but currently not all drugs to treat the condition are effective.
However, new research has revealed that a group of cancer drugs, currently being tested in clinical trials. could effectively control it.
A study by Georgetown University showed that drugs designed to stop cancer growth may also help regulate blood pressure.
Known as FGF inhibitors, they are currently used to control cancer.
FGF stands for fibroblast growth factors which are involved in increasing blood vessel growth so that cancer can grow.
The researchers found that FGF also has an effect on blood pressure, and they therefore believe FGF inhibitors could help when it gets too high.
“It’s rare that a single class of drugs can be used for such different conditions, but that is what our study strongly suggests,” said Professor Anton Wellstein, the senior study author from Georgetown University.
“Of course, we can’t say that this tactic will work in humans with hypertension, but it will be straightforward to test this rather surprising possibility to target a new mechanism of blood pressure control.”
Currently high blood pressure is treated with a mixture of lifestyle changes and medication.
According to the NHS, drugs that can be prescribed include ACE inhibitors, angiotensin-2 receptor blockers, calcium channel blockers, diuretics and beta-blockers.
Medication is recommended based on blood pressure reading, and risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Doctors will often recommend changing aspect of your lifestyle, and usually a difference can be seeing just a few weeks.
According to the NHS, these include changes to diet, such as cutting salt intake to less than 6g a day, and eating low-fat foods as well as plenty of vegetables.
Additionally, losing weight, stopping smoking and getting at least six hours sleep a night can also help.
Trying to reduce stress can also work to lower your reading, say experts.
More than 90 over 60 (90/60) and less than 120 over 80 (120/80) is an ideal and healthy blood pressure reading, according to Blood Pressure UK.