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J Hum Hypertens. 2007 Apr;21(4):276-82. Epub 2006 Dec 14.

Plasma levels of complement C3 is associated with development of hypertension: a longitudinal cohort study.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Science, Malmö University Hospital, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden.


Hypertension has been associated with raised plasma levels of complement factor 3 and 4 (C3 and C4). The nature of this association is unclear. This population-based longitudinal study explored whether C3 or C4 is associated with development of hypertension. Blood pressure and plasma levels of C3 and C4 were determined in 2178 healthy men, aged 35-50 years, initially without treatment for hypertension. Incidence of hypertension and blood pressure increase over 15.7 (+/-2.2) years follow-up was studied in relation to C3 and C4 at baseline. Among men with initially normal blood pressure (<160/95 mm Hg), incidence of hypertension (>or=160/95 mm Hg or treatment) was 32, 42, 37 and 47%, respectively, for men with C3 in the first, second, third and fourth quartile (trend: P=0.001). This relationship remained significant after adjustment for confounding factors. Among men without blood pressure treatment, systolic BP increase (mean+standard error, adjusted for age, initial blood pressure and follow-up time) was 17.5+0.8, 19.6+0.9, 19.8+0.8 and 20.8+0.8 mm Hg, respectively, in the C3 quartiles (trend: P=0.004). C3 was not associated diastolic blood pressure at follow-up. Although C4 was associated with blood pressure at the baseline examination, there was no relationship between C4 and development of hypertension or future blood pressure increase. It is concluded that C3 in plasma is associated with future blood pressure increase and development of hypertension.

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