Researchers believe they may be able to control production of an enzyme that can trigger the condition.
The breakthrough by Australian scientists is likely to lead to the creation of targeted drugs, which will slash the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Scientists now understand how an enzyme called renin, which pushes up the odds of someone developing high blood pressure, can be over-produced in the kidneys.
They found that two molecules known as micro-RNAs can destabilise the production of the enzyme.
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