Objective: Essential hypertension is associated with multiple metabolic abnormalities, among them one of the most important is hyperinsulinemia. Hyperinsulinemia has been suggested as being responsible for the increased arterial pressure in patients with essential hypertension. But this is contradicted by the finding that all patients of essential hypertension are not hyperinsulinemic. The present study was conducted to explore the hypothesis that hyperinsulinemia plays a pathogenic role in hypertension in euglycemic North Indian population.
Methods and materials: 120 subjects were studied (60 hypertensive and 60 normotensive). Blood pressure, fasting insulin levels, lipid profile and BMI were calculated for both the groups. Statistical analysis was done using online statistical software freely at www.openepi.com.
Results: Hypertensive subjects were characterized by increased fasting insulin levels (16.77±7.62 vs. 8.84±2.04μIU/ml, p<0.01), increased BMI (p<0.01) and dyslipidemia, i.e. increased total cholesterol, high serum triglycerides, high LDL-C and low HDL-C with p<0.01. There was a positive correlation of fasting insulin levels with BMI, total cholesterol and LDL-C (p<0.01) and a negative correlation with HDL-C (p<0.05). However, serum insulin levels showed a non significant correlation with mean systolic and mean diastolic blood pressure (p>0.05).
Conclusions: Our study showed a significant increase in serum insulin levels in hypertensive patients thereby supporting a possible pathogenic role of insulin resistance in onset of hypertension even when the fasting blood sugar is within normal limits.
Keywords: Body mass index (BMI); Essential hypertension (HT); Hyperinsulinemia; Insulin resistance (IR); Lipid profile.
Copyright © 2013 Diabetes India. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.