Women with high BP at three-fold risk of developing diabetes

November 14th, 2007 - 1:59 am ICT by admin  
The study was conducted by researchers from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, USA, who followed over 38,000 female health professionals for ten years.

When the study started in 1993, all the participants were free of diabetes and cardiovascular disease and the follow-up continued to the end of March 2004, at which data were nearly 100 percent complete, 97.2 percent for morbidity and 99.4 percent for mortality.

“Despite several studies finding a close relationship between hypertension and type 2 diabetes, little information exists on the relationship between blood pressure levels and the subsequent development of type 2 diabetes. Data for women are particularly limited,” David Conen, a cardiologist and research fellow and the lead author of the study, said.

“Finding an independent association between blood pressure and new-onset diabetes is important, because it suggests that women with increasing blood pressure levels should have their blood glucose levels monitored. Individuals at high risk for cardiovascular disease may benefit from early intervention,” he said.

The women were divided into four groups: those with optimal blood pressure (BP), below 120 mmHg systolic, 75 mmHg diastolic; those with normal BP (120-129 mmHg systolic, 75-84 mmHg diastolic); those with high normal BP (130-139 mmHg systolic, 85-89 diastolic); and those with established hypertension (at least 140 mmHg systolic, 90 mmHg diastolic, and/or self-reported history of hypertension or treatment for the condition).

After 10 years of follow-up 1.4, 2.9, 5.7 and 9.4 percent of women in the four categories had developed type 2 diabetes.

The researchers found that women with hypertension were three times at a risk of developing diabetes as compared with women with optimal BP after adjusting for various factors such as age, ethnicity, smoking, alcohol intake, body mass index (BMI), exercise, family history of diabetes etc.

During the study women who had an increase in BP had an increased risk of developing diabetes.

Those whose BP rose but who remained within the range of normal BP had an increased risk of 26 percent compared to women who had stable or decreasing BP while women who progressed to hypertension had a 64 percent increased risk.

“Compared with an overall rate of 4.5 events per 1,000 person-years, the incidence rates in the optimal BP category was 1.5 events per 1,000 person-years, showing that these women have a very low risk of developing diabetes,” Conen said.

“On the other hand, women with high normal BP had a much higher risk compared with women with normal BP, and the risk among those with established hypertension was substantial: after ten years almost 10 percent of these women had diabetes, a rate of ten events per 1,000 person-years.

“Our findings provide strong evidence that BP and progression of BP are associated with an increased risk of diabetes. They highlight the fact that cardiovascular risk factors are interrelated and occur in clusters,” Conen said.

The study is issued in the European Heart Journal. (ANI)

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