Insulin and blood pressure in obesity.
To assess factors in overweight persons that account for a tendency toward hypertension, 33 very obese women, 26 to 77 years of age, were studied. Blood pressures in these 33 women varied from low normal to mildly hypertensive. None of them had taken medication for high blood pressure, and none had diabetes mellitus. The effect of independent variables--age, body mass index (weight/height2), fasting serum glucose levels, fasting serum insulin levels, and 24-hour urinary sodium excretion--on systolic and diastolic blood pressure was assessed. There was no correlation between sodium excretion and blood pressure. Age did not correlate with diastolic blood pressure but did correlate with systolic blood pressure when body mass index, serum glucose level, and insulin level were controlled. Diastolic blood pressure correlated with body mass index and serum glucose level, but only the latter remained significant when all independent variables were considered together. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were found to be significantly related to fasting serum insulin level (r = 0.47, p = 0.005 and r = 0.68, p less than 0.001) even when age, weight, and serum glucose level were controlled (r = 0.41, p = 0.025 and r = 0.62, p less than 0.001 respectively). The relation between serum insulin and blood pressure was more pronounced in those women with a family history of hypertension. These data indicate that insulin may play a major role in the regulation of blood pressure in obesity and that the previously accepted relation of weight to blood pressure may depend on blood levels of insulin.
- Copyright © 1985 by American Heart Association