Objective: To examine the relationship between urinary albumin excretion and ultrasonographically assessed morphology of the common carotid artery in hypertensive men with and without non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: An outpatient clinic in a city hospital.
Patients: Hypertensive male patients (n = 25) with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and non-diabetic hypertensive male patients (n = 94) aged 50-72 years, randomly selected from a larger study group.
Main outcome measures: Overnight urinary albumin excretion and B-mode ultrasound examinations of the carotid artery.
Results: Among the diabetic patients the logarithm of the overnight urinary albumin excretion was independently and significantly associated with the common carotid artery intima-media thickness, which was also true after adjustment for concomitant cardiovascular disease. In the non-diabetic group there was no association between intima-media thickness and urinary albumin excretion. No relationship between the occurrence of plaque and urinary albumin excretion was observed in any of the study groups. The results were reproducible at a re-examination after 3 years using the same methods.
Conclusion: Among the hypertensive men with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, an independent and significant relationship, reproducible after 3 years, was found between urinary albumin excretion and the intima-media thickness of the common carotid artery. No such relationship was found in the group of non-diabetic hypertensive males.