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Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Nov 15;172(10):1144-54. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwq266. Epub 2010 Oct 20.

Glucose, insulin, and incident hypertension in the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis.

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Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA.


Diabetes mellitus and hypertension commonly coexist, but the nature of this link is not well understood. The authors tested whether diabetes and higher concentrations of fasting serum glucose and insulin are associated with increased risk of developing incident hypertension in the community-based Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. At baseline, 3,513 participants were free of hypertension, defined as systolic blood pressure ≥140 mm Hg, diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mm Hg, or use of antihypertensive medications to treat high blood pressure. Of these, 965 participants (27%) developed incident hypertension over 4.7 years' median follow-up between 2002 and 2007. Compared with participants with normal baseline fasting glucose, those with impaired fasting glucose and diabetes had adjusted relative risks of hypertension of 1.16 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.96, 1.40) and 1.41 (95% CI: 1.17, 1.71), respectively (P = 0.0015). The adjusted relative risk of incident hypertension was 1.08 (95% CI: 1.04, 1.13) for each mmol/L higher glucose (P < 0.0001) and 1.15 (95% CI: 1.05, 1.25) for each doubling of insulin (P = 0.0016). Further adjustment for serum cystatin C, urinary albumin/creatinine ratio, and arterial elasticity measured by tonometry substantially reduced the magnitudes of these associations. In conclusion, diabetes and higher concentrations of glucose and insulin may contribute to the development of hypertension, in part through kidney disease and arterial stiffness.

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