Blood Pressure

Hypertension can occur for a variety of reasons, and essential hypertension represents a heterogeneous group of disorders. However, it is likely that ~50% patients with essential hypertension are insulin resistant and hyperinsulinemic. Furthermore, insulin resistance/hyperinsulinemia is a powerful predictor of the development of high blood pressure, and normotensive, first-degree relatives of patients with high blood pressure, as a group, have been shown to be insulin resistant and hyperinsulinemic. However, not all insulin-resistant/hyperinsulinemic individuals have elevated blood pressure; therefore, the abnormalities in insulin metabolism simply lead to physiological changes that place an individual at increased risk of developing hypertension. The two most prominent of these changes involve enhanced sympathetic nervous system activity and renal sodium retention.

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