Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between levels of natriuretic peptides and adrenomedullin and 24 h blood pressure levels in elderly hypertensives.
Design and methods: We performed both 24 h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and measurement of plasma levels of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and adrenomedullin in 118 asymptomatic hypertensive elderly (> 60 years old) patients. We classified the subjects into groups with isolated clinic hypertension (n = 40) and sustained hypertension (n = 78). We also measured the levels of these peptides in 37 elderly normotensive subjects.
Results: Plasma ANP and BNP levels were slightly increased in patients with isolated clinic hypertension compared with elderly normotensives. Among the hypertensives, plasma ANP and BNP levels were more closely related to 24 h blood pressure levels than to office blood pressure levels. Sustained hypertensives showed significantly increased plasma levels of ANP and BNP compared with isolated clinic hypertensives, while adrenomedullin levels were similar in the two groups. Elderly hypertensives with left ventricular hypertrophy detected by electrocardiography had significantly higher levels of ANP and BNP, and higher BNP/ANP ratios than those without left ventricular hypertrophy, while there was no significant difference in adrenomedullin levels between the two groups.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that measurements of ANP and BNP may be useful in detecting left ventricular hypertrophy and in differentiating isolated clinic hypertension from sustained hypertension in elderly hypertensive patients.