Diabetes mellitus and hypertension.
Diabetes mellitus and hypertension are common diseases that coexist at a greater frequency than chance alone would predict. Hypertension in the diabetic individual markedly increases the risk and accelerates the course of cardiac disease, peripheral vascular disease, stroke, retinopathy, and nephropathy. Our understanding of the factors that markedly increase the frequency of hypertension in the diabetic individual remains incomplete. Diabetic nephropathy is an important factor involved in the development of hypertension in diabetics, particularly type I patients. However, the etiology of hypertension in the majority of diabetic patients cannot be explained by underlying renal disease and remains "essential" in nature. The hallmark of hypertension in type I and type II diabetics appears to be increased peripheral vascular resistance. Increased exchangeable sodium may also play a role in the pathogenesis of blood pressure in diabetics. There is increasing evidence that insulin resistance/hyperinsulinemia may play a key role in the pathogenesis of hypertension in both subtle and overt abnormalities of carbohydrate metabolism. Population studies suggest that elevated insulin levels, which often occurs in type II diabetes mellitus, is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Other cardiovascular risk factors in diabetic individuals include abnormalities of lipid metabolism, platelet function, and clotting factors. The goal of antihypertensive therapy in the patient with coexistent diabetes is to reduce the inordinate cardiovascular risk as well as lowering blood pressure.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association