Diagnosis and management of hypertension in obesity

Obes Rev. 2006 May;7(2):155-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2006.00226.x.


Cardiovascular risk in a patient with obesity hypertension increases with the extent of risk factor clustering. It is therefore important to determine the global risk of a patient with hypertension rather than to focus solely on blood pressure. Every hypertensive should be screened for other than blood pressure risk factors, target organ damage and concomitant diseases or accompanying clinical conditions. Assessment of blood pressure and target organ damage might be more difficult in obese hypertensives than in normal-weight patients. Intensive lifestyle interventions can reduce weight, and decrease blood pressure and cardiovascular risk in obese hypertensive patients. Current guidelines do not provide specific recommendation for pharmacological management of the hypertensive patients with obesity. Recent trials have consistently shown that therapy involving beta-blockers and diuretics may induce more new-onset diabetes compared with other combination therapies. Several lines of evidence suggest that anti-hypertensive agents that block the renin-angiotensin system may be especially beneficial in treating obese hypertensive patients. Hypertension management in obese individuals is complicated by poorer response to treatment, and the increased need for multiple medications. It is important to consider obstructive sleep apnoea in the differential diagnosis of hypertensive patients who respond poorly to combination therapy with anti-hypertensive medications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis*
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Hypertension / therapy*
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss


  • Antihypertensive Agents