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Hypertension. 2014 May;63(5):1070-7. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.113.03057. Epub 2014 Feb 24.

Revisiting the relationship between blood pressure and insulin-like growth factor-1.

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Hypertension in Africa Research Team, North-West University, Hoffman St, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa.


Conflicting evidence exists on the relationship between blood pressure (BP) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). We reviewed available articles and pooled extrapolated regression coefficients for the association between BP and total IGF-1 as reported in the literature and included additional data from 912 individuals from the general population. We identified 20 studies including 11 704 subjects. We also measured total IGF-1, insulin-like binding protein-3, and BP in 912 black and white men and women from South Africa (aged 20-70 years). When plotting positive and negative weighed regression coefficients (29 data points) against IGF-1, we found a significant positive relationship (r=0.31; P<0.001; n=11 704) intercepting the 0 point at 191 ng/mL IGF-1, suggesting an inverse BP/IGF-1 relationship in low IGF-1 conditions, and a positive relationship in overtly high IGF-1 conditions. In conclusion, our findings suggest that the relationship between BP and IGF-1 is dependent on, or related to, IGF-1 concentrations, as an expression of direct or reverse causality. Low IGF-1 bioavailability (associated with aging and vascular deterioration), resistance to IGF-1, and the complex interplay between IGF-1 and other vasoactive hormones could mask the vasoprotective functions of IGF-1 in cross-sectional studies or could modify their functions in prospective studies.


acromegaly; aging; hypertension; vasodilation

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