Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Future predictors of high blood pressure

Will certain metabolic factors and their change over time influence the development of high blood pressure in adults with initially optimal blood pressure (BP) ?

Researchers analyzed associations of BP in the optimal range, less than 120/80, metabolic risk factors, and their changes over 4-year follow-up, with 8-year incident hypertension, in a cohort of American Indians with a high prevalence of obesity.


1. Baseline normal glucose
Next exam(4 years later): baseline level of BP and decrease in beneficial HDL were the most potent predictors of hypertension 8 years later. Contributing factors: waist circumference, increase in BP, and presence of diabetes at the second examination.

2. Baseline abnormal glucose or diabetes
Next exam(4 years later): presence of diabetes was the most potent predictor of hypertension 8 years later. Contributing factors: an increase in BP and LDL cholesterol over the first 4 years.

Thus, hypertension can be predicted by initial metabolic profile (glucose and cholesterol) and unfavorable metabolic variations over time, in addition to initial BP.

So, if you have an optimal initial BP, increasing abdominal obesity, abnormal lipid profile, and presence of diabetes are major predictors of the development of high blood pressure.

Reason to get off of the couch:

A new study indicates that the addition of exercise to a low calorie diet is crucial to reducing abdominal fat cell size in obese individuals. The exercise could be of a low- or high-intensity nature. Diet alone, diet plus low-intensity exercise, and diet plus high-intensity exercise reduced body weight, fat mass, percent fat, and waist and hip girths to a similar degree. However, only exercise added to the dietary regimen, reduced fat cell size at the waist as determined by tissue biopsy.


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