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Eur Heart J. 1992 Dec;13 Suppl G:61-7.

Effect of diuretics on the plasma lipid profile.

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Medizinische Poliklinik, University of Berne, Switzerland.


Hypertension, dyslipidaemia, glucose intolerance (associated with insulin resistance and compensatory hyperinsulinaemia) and other abnormalities are complementary coronary risk factors which often occur in association. A familial trait for essential hypertension seems to coexist commonly with defects in carbohydrate and lipoprotein metabolism which can be detected before the appearance of hypertension. Diabetes mellitus as well as obesity promotes the development of hypertension and dyslipidaemia. Moreover, certain drugs used for antihypertensive therapy can further modify lipoprotein and glucose metabolism. Thiazides in high dosage and loop-diuretics can increase serum low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and/or very-LDL-C and the total C/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) ratio, while HDL-C is largely unchanged; triglycerides (Tg) are also often elevated. Premenopausal women may be protected from this side effect. Whether diuretic-induced dyslipidaemia is dose-dependent and low thiazide doses (i.e. hydrochlorothiazide < or = 12.5 mg daily) are less active, awaits clarification. The diuretic-antihypertensive agent, indapamide, given at a dose of 2.5, seems to exert no relevant effect on serum lipoprotein or glucose metabolism. The potassium-sparing diuretic, spironolactone, also may be largely neutral with regard to lipids. Moreover, potassium sparing diuretics may possibly counteract, at least in part, a dyslipidaemic influence of potassium-loosing diuretics in medium dose. Drug-induced dyslipidaemia, as well as glucose intolerance, represent potentially adverse influences. In the hypertensive population, effective blood pressure control with traditional drug therapy based on thiazide-type diuretics in high dosage led to a distinct decrease in cerebrovascular morbidity and mortality, but a lesser decrease in coronary events.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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