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Simultaneous discovery led to drugs for blood pressure, heart disease

Harold Smulyan, MD (photo by Jim Howe)

Harold Smulyan, MD
(photo by Jim Howe)

A widely prescribed type of drug used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure was made possible by a discovery from almost a century ago. The substance eventually named angiotensin was first identified in the late 1930s by doctors working independently of each other in the United States and Argentina, who didn't agree on what to name the substance for several years. Harold Smulyan, MD, Upstate emeritus professor of medicine in cardiology, describes the discovery and how later research led to today‘s ACE inhibitor drugs (ACE standing for angiotensin-converting enzyme).