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J Chronic Dis. 1985;38(4):319-26.

Hypertension, orthostatic hypotension and the microvascular complications of diabetes.


Prevalences of hypertension and orthostatic hypotension and their relationship to the microvascular complications of diabetes were assessed in 702 individuals aged 18-74 years, who had been selected as a representative sample of surviving patients with diabetes diagnosed at the Joslin Clinic between 1939 and 1965. In diabetes of short, long and very long duration, hypertension was 1.7, 1.9 and 2.1 times more frequent, respectively, than in the white U.S. population, regardless of gender. The excess frequency of hypertension in short duration diabetes suggests that some etiologic factor is shared by both conditions, while the magnification of the excess with increasing duration could be explained by an effect of diabetes on the kidney. Hypertension without accompanying proteinuria was not associated with retinopathy. Orthostatic hypotension was observed in 12% of the males and 13% of the females. The magnitude of the fall in systolic blood pressure was correlated with age, postprandial blood glucose, supine diastolic blood pressure, and the presence of retinopathy. Patients with proliferative retinopathy had the largest fall in systolic blood pressure.

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