Pressure Relief

This year brings a breakthrough procedure to fight hypertension

Illustration by Oliver Munday for TIME

It's hardly a surprise that hypertension can kill you. What is less well known is that it can also age you--a lot. If your blood pressure is above 140/90 mm Hg--compared with the optimal 115/75--a whopping 12 years may be added to your real age. That puts you at increased risk not just of heart attack, stroke and renal failure but also of wrinkles and, if you're male, impotence.

For years, medication and lifestyle modification have been the baseline treatment for the 25% of Americans who are hypertensive, with some benefiting much more than others and some seeing little improvement at...

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