Aims: To investigate a possible correlation between skeletal muscle mass and hypertensive target organ damage.
Materials and methods: A total of 365 hypertensive patients aged > 18 years were included (221 females; 144 males). Exclusion criteria were: diabetes; hypo- or hyperthyroidism; immobilisation; leg amputation; dehydration; cancer diagnosis; renal insufficiency with GFR of <60 ml/ dk/1.73 m2; and hormone replacement therapy. All patients who participated in the study were examined for the presence of hypertensive retinopathy and nephropathy and divided into four groups according to age and sex (group 1 = females aged <60 years; group 2 = females aged >60 years; group 3 = males aged <60 years; and group 4 = males aged > 60 years). The diagnosis of hypertensive nephropathy and retinopathy was based on spot urine microalbuminuria/creatinine ratio and opthalmoscopy, examination respectively. Body composition was evaluated using bioimpedance analysis (BIA). Fullbody skeletal muscle mass (SMM) and SMM index (SMMI) were used as indicators of skeletal muscle mass.
Results: As expected, female and elderly subjects showed a decreased skeletal muscle mass and increased fat mass compared to males and younger subjects. In the overall cohort, a negative correlation was found between skeletal muscle mass and both hypertensive retinopathy and nephropathy. Subgroup analysis revealed a linear correlation between increased SMM and a decreased risk of hypertensive retinopathy. Patients with a spot urine microalbuminura/creatinine ratio of > or = 30 had a lower SMM and a lower SMMI than patients with a ratio of <30.
Conclusion: In the present cohort, sarcopenia mainly due to aging was associated with an increased rate of hypertensive target organ damage in the form of hypertensive retinopathy and nephropathy