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J Hypertens. 1992 Sep;10(9):1053-61.

Weight reduction versus antihypertensive drug therapy in obese men with high blood pressure: effects upon plasma insulin levels and association with changes in blood pressure and serum lipids.

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Department of Medicine, Gothenburg University, Sahlgren's Hospital, Sweden.



First, to compare dietary and antihypertensive drug treatment in obese men with mild hypertension with respect to effects upon insulin, glucose, lipid metabolism and blood pressure. Second, to test the hypothesis that in the diet group changes in blood pressure and serum lipid concentration were associated with changes in plasma insulin concentration.


A 6-week run-in period followed by random assignment to either diet or drug treatment, lasting for 1 year. Blood pressure measurements were performed blind after 5 and 45 min rest, and during isometric exercise. Plasma insulin and blood glucose concentrations were measured before and after an oral glucose load.


Outpatient clinic in a city hospital.


Sixty-four men aged 40-69 years with a body mass index > or = 26 kg/m2 and with a diastolic blood pressure of 90-104 mmHg when untreated were recruited (screening after an advertisement in a newspaper). Exclusion criteria were diabetes mellitus, organ damage secondary to hypertension and diseases that may have interfered with compliance and the interpretation of results. Sixty-one patients completed the study.


Dietary treatment was based upon weight reduction and sodium restriction. Drug treatment used a stepped-care approach with atenolol as first choice drug.


Absolute reductions in blood pressure, plasma insulin, blood glucose, serum lipid concentration and the waist:hip circumference ratio.


Mean body weight decreased in the diet group and increased in the drug-treatment group. Plasma insulin concentrations, the waist:hip circumference ratio and serum lipid profile improved in the diet group compared with the drug group. Blood pressure control was significantly better in the drug group. In the diet group the changes in mean arterial pressure after 5 min rest and serum triglyceride levels correlated with changes in plasma insulin concentrations independent of changes in body mass index or body weight.


Diet treatment was inferior to drug treatment in controlling hypertension, but superior in lowering plasma insulin concentrations and improving the serum lipid profile. The hypothesis of a relation between changes in blood pressure, serum triglycerides and plasma insulin was supported.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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