Diabetes, Hypertension, and Cardiovascular Disease
Abstract—Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the major causes of mortality in persons with diabetes, and many factors, including hypertension, contribute to this high prevalence of CVD. Hypertension is approximately twice as frequent in patients with diabetes compared with patients without the disease. Conversely, recent data suggest that hypertensive persons are more predisposed to the development of diabetes than are normotensive persons. Furthermore, up to 75% of CVD in diabetes may be attributable to hypertension, leading to recommendations for more aggressive treatment (ie, reducing blood pressure to <130/85 mm Hg) in persons with coexistent diabetes and hypertension. Other important risk factors for CVD in these patients include the following: obesity, atherosclerosis, dyslipidemia, microalbuminuria, endothelial dysfunction, platelet hyperaggregability, coagulation abnormalities, and “diabetic cardiomyopathy.” The cardiomyopathy associated with diabetes is a unique myopathic state that appears to be independent of macrovascular/microvascular disease and contributes significantly to CVD morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients, especially those with coexistent hypertension. This update reviews the current knowledge regarding these risk factors and their treatment, with special emphasis on the cardiometabolic syndrome, hypertension, microalbuminuria, and diabetic cardiomyopathy. This update also examines the role of the renin-angiotensin system in the increased risk for CVD in diabetic patients and the impact of interrupting this system on the development of clinical diabetes as well as CVD.
- Received September 25, 2000.
- Revision received November 8, 2000.
- Accepted January 30, 2001.