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Hypertension. 1992 Apr;19(4):385-92.

Insulin resistance versus insulin secretion in the hypertension of obesity.

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  • 1Cancer Research Institute, New England Deaconess Hospital, Boston, MA 02215.


We measured the degree of association between obesity, blood pressure, insulin resistance, and insulin secretion in 72 male and female obese hypertensive, obese nonhypertensive, and normal weight control subjects. Baseline weight, body mass index, percent body fat, waist/hip ratio, and systolic and diastolic blood pressures were obtained. Insulin sensitivity was assessed according to Bergman's minimal model. Twelve-hour urinary c-peptide was measured after a standard liquid meal. Insulin action was inversely associated with blood pressure status, obesity status, and age. Meal-stimulated c-peptide excretion significantly correlated with systolic blood pressure and percent fat but not with body mass index or age. Multivariate regression analysis indicated that, of the measures of body composition, percent fat and waist/hip ratio had the strongest correlation with insulin action either alone or in combination with c-peptide excretion. Obese hypertensive patients had an index of insulin action (10(-4).min-1/[microunits/ml]) of 1.34 +/- 0.19, which was significantly (p less than 0.003) lower than in the obese nonhypertensive patients (index, 2.26 +/- 0.10) or the nonobese subjects (index, 5.41 +/- 0.26, p less than 0.001). Meal-stimulated c-peptide excretion (nmol/kg lean body mass) was increased only in the obese hypertensive group (0.32 +/- 0.01) and was significantly higher (p less than 0.001) than in the obese nonhypertensive (0.16 +/- 0.01) or the nonobese subjects (0.14 +/- 0.01). These results support the hypothesis that abnormalities in blood pressure regulation, insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, and insulin secretion coexist.

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