Cardiovascular Risk in Patients with Prehypertension and the Metabolic Syndrome

Curr Hypertens Rep. 2018 Mar 6;20(2):15. doi: 10.1007/s11906-018-0801-2.


Prehypertension (pHTN) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) are both lifestyle diseases that are potentiated by increased adiposity, as both disease processes are closely related to weight. In the case of pHTN, increased adiposity causes dysregulation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone-system (RAAS) as well as adipokine- and leptin-associated increases in adrenergic tone. In MetS, excess weight potentiates hyperglycemia and insulin resistance which causes positive feedback into the RAAS system, activates an inflammatory cascade that potentiates atherosclerosis, and causes lipid dysregulation which together contribute to cardiovascular disease, especially coronary heart disease (CHD) and heart failure (HF). The relationship with all-cause mortality is not as clear-cut in part because of some protective effects associated with the obesity paradox in chronic diseases such as CHD and HF. However, in healthy populations, the absence of excess weight and its associated effects on prehypertension and MetS are associated with a longer absolute and disease-free lifespan.

Keywords: Heart failure; Insulin resistance; Metabolic syndrome; Obesity; Prehypertension.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity / physiology
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / mortality
  • Prehypertension / complications*
  • Prehypertension / mortality
  • Risk Factors