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1.  Effects of angiotensin II-receptor blockers on soluble cell adhesion molecule levels in uncomplicated systemic hypertension: An observational, controlled pilot study in Taiwanese adults* 
Background:
Controversy exists as to whether individuals with hypertension without risk factors for atherosclerosis (eg, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia,
Objective:
The aim of this study was to determine whether (1) levels of solubleCAMs (sCAMs) (soluble E-selectin [sE-selectin], soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 [sICAM-1 ], soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 [sVCAM-1 ], and von Willebrand factor [vWF]) are elevated in Taiwanese adults with uncomplicated essential hypertension without other risk factors; (2) CAM levels increase with severity (stage) of hypertension; and (3) monotherapy with the angiotensin II-receptor blocker (ARB) irbesartan modulates CAM expression in a subgroup of these patients.
Methods:
This observational, controlled pilot study was conducted at the Hypertension Clinic, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Adult patients with uncomplicated essential hypertension without other risk factors (eg, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, obesity) and normotensive controls were eligible. Blood pressure (BP) was determined using 24-hour ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) in all participants, and the staging of hypertension was classified based on criteria in The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (normotensive, prehypertension, stage I hypertension, and stage II hypertension). The SCAM levels and 24-hour ABPM were measured before and after 8 weeks of open-label irbesartan monotherapy in a subgroup of the patients with hypertension. Patients who had difficulty achieving the target BP values on irbesartan monotherapy were treated with combination therapy (2 or 3 antihypertensive agents); levels of sCAMs were not measured in these patients. Plasma levels of sE-selectin, the sCAMs, and vWF were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results:
The study comprised 61 patients with uncomplicated essentialhypertension (33 men and 28 women; mean [SD] age, 51 [12] years) and 17 normotensive controls (11 men, 6 women; mean [SD] age, 52 [ 11 ] years). The mean (SD) dose of irbesartan was 243 (63) mg. Hypertensive patients had significantly higher circulating levels of sICAM-1 compared with normotensive controls (P = 0.009). No significant differences in levels of sVCAM-1, sE-selectin, or vWF were found between hypertensive patients and controls. The mean sICAM-1 level was significantly higher in the prehypertensive patients compared with normotensive controls (P = 0.03). The mean sE-selectin level was significantly higher in the patients with stage I hypertension compared with the prehypertensive group (P = 0.01). The 18 patients given 8 weeks of irbesartan monotherapy showed a significant decrease from baseline in systolic and diastolic BP (both, P = 0.001) and sE-selectin (P= 0.006), but not in sVCAM-1 or sICAM. Forty-three patients did not reach target BP on irbesartan monotherapy and thus were treated with combination therapy.
Conclusions:
Based on the results of this observational, controlled pilotstudy in Taiwanese patients, we suggest that ARB therapy, in addition to reducing BP, has the potential to suppress CAM expression and to improve endothelial dysfunction in hypertension.
doi:10.1016/j.curtheres.2005.06.005
PMCID: PMC3964542  PMID: 24672122
soluble cell adhesion molecule; ambulatory blood pressuremonitoring; systemic hypertension; angiotensin 11-receptor blockers
2.  Risk Stratification by Self-Measured Home Blood Pressure across Categories of Conventional Blood Pressure: A Participant-Level Meta-Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(1):e1001591.
Jan Staessen and colleagues compare the risk of cardiovascular, cardiac, or cerebrovascular events in patients with elevated office blood pressure vs. self-measured home blood pressure.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
The Global Burden of Diseases Study 2010 reported that hypertension is worldwide the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease, causing 9.4 million deaths annually. We examined to what extent self-measurement of home blood pressure (HBP) refines risk stratification across increasing categories of conventional blood pressure (CBP).
Methods and Findings
This meta-analysis included 5,008 individuals randomly recruited from five populations (56.6% women; mean age, 57.1 y). All were not treated with antihypertensive drugs. In multivariable analyses, hazard ratios (HRs) associated with 10-mm Hg increases in systolic HBP were computed across CBP categories, using the following systolic/diastolic CBP thresholds (in mm Hg): optimal, <120/<80; normal, 120–129/80–84; high-normal, 130–139/85–89; mild hypertension, 140–159/90–99; and severe hypertension, ≥160/≥100.
Over 8.3 y, 522 participants died, and 414, 225, and 194 had cardiovascular, cardiac, and cerebrovascular events, respectively. In participants with optimal or normal CBP, HRs for a composite cardiovascular end point associated with a 10-mm Hg higher systolic HBP were 1.28 (1.01–1.62) and 1.22 (1.00–1.49), respectively. At high-normal CBP and in mild hypertension, the HRs were 1.24 (1.03–1.49) and 1.20 (1.06–1.37), respectively, for all cardiovascular events and 1.33 (1.07–1.65) and 1.30 (1.09–1.56), respectively, for stroke. In severe hypertension, the HRs were not significant (p≥0.20). Among people with optimal, normal, and high-normal CBP, 67 (5.0%), 187 (18.4%), and 315 (30.3%), respectively, had masked hypertension (HBP≥130 mm Hg systolic or ≥85 mm Hg diastolic). Compared to true optimal CBP, masked hypertension was associated with a 2.3-fold (1.5–3.5) higher cardiovascular risk. A limitation was few data from low- and middle-income countries.
Conclusions
HBP substantially refines risk stratification at CBP levels assumed to carry no or only mildly increased risk, in particular in the presence of masked hypertension. Randomized trials could help determine the best use of CBP vs. HBP in guiding BP management. Our study identified a novel indication for HBP, which, in view of its low cost and the increased availability of electronic communication, might be globally applicable, even in remote areas or in low-resource settings.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Globally, hypertension (high blood pressure) is the leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease and is responsible for 9.4 million deaths annually from heart attacks, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases. Hypertension, which rarely has any symptoms, is diagnosed by measuring blood pressure, the force that blood circulating in the body exerts on the inside of large blood vessels. Blood pressure is highest when the heart is pumping out blood (systolic blood pressure) and lowest when the heart is refilling (diastolic blood pressure). European guidelines define optimal blood pressure as a systolic blood pressure of less than 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and a diastolic blood pressure of less than 80 mm Hg (a blood pressure of less than 120/80 mm Hg). Normal blood pressure, high-normal blood pressure, and mild hypertension are defined as blood pressures in the ranges 120–129/80–84 mm Hg, 130–139/85–89 mm Hg, and 140–159/90–99 mm Hg, respectively. A blood pressure of more than 160 mm Hg systolic or 100 mm Hg diastolic indicates severe hypertension. Many factors affect blood pressure; overweight people and individuals who eat salty or fatty food are at high risk of developing hypertension. Lifestyle changes and/or antihypertensive drugs can be used to control hypertension.
Why Was This Study Done?
The current guidelines for the diagnosis and management of hypertension recommend risk stratification based on conventionally measured blood pressure (CBP, the average of two consecutive measurements made at a clinic). However, self-measured home blood pressure (HBP) more accurately predicts outcomes because multiple HBP readings are taken and because HBP measurement avoids the “white-coat effect”—some individuals have a raised blood pressure in a clinical setting but not at home. Could risk stratification across increasing categories of CBP be refined through the use of self-measured HBP, particularly at CBP levels assumed to be associated with no or only mildly increased risk? Here, the researchers undertake a participant-level meta-analysis (a study that uses statistical approaches to pool results from individual participants in several independent studies) to answer this question.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers included 5,008 individuals recruited from five populations and enrolled in the International Database of Home Blood Pressure in Relation to Cardiovascular Outcome (IDHOCO) in their meta-analysis. CBP readings were available for all the participants, who measured their HBP using an oscillometric device (an electronic device for measuring blood pressure). The researchers used information on fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular, cardiac, and cerebrovascular (stroke) events to calculate the hazard ratios (HRs, indicators of increased risk) associated with a 10-mm Hg increase in systolic HBP across standard CBP categories. In participants with optimal CBP, an increase in systolic HBP of 10-mm Hg increased the risk of any cardiovascular event by nearly 30% (an HR of 1.28). Similar HRs were associated with a 10-mm Hg increase in systolic HBP for all cardiovascular events among people with normal and high-normal CBP and with mild hypertension, but for people with severe hypertension, systolic HBP did not significantly add to the prediction of any end point. Among people with optimal, normal, and high-normal CBP, 5%, 18.4%, and 30.4%, respectively, had a HBP of 130/85 or higher (“masked hypertension,” a higher blood pressure in daily life than in a clinical setting). Finally, compared to individuals with optimal CBP without masked hypertension, individuals with masked hypertension had more than double the risk of cardiovascular disease.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that HBP measurements, particularly in individuals with masked hypertension, refine risk stratification at CBP levels assumed to be associated with no or mildly elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. That is, HBP measurements can improve the prediction of cardiovascular complications or death among individuals with optimal, normal, and high-normal CBP but not among individuals with severe hypertension. Clinical trials are needed to test whether the identification and treatment of masked hypertension leads to a reduction of cardiovascular complications and is cost-effective compared to the current standard of care, which does not include HBP measurements and does not treat people with normal or high-normal CBP. Until then, these findings provide support for including HBP monitoring in primary prevention strategies for cardiovascular disease among individuals at risk for masked hypertension (for example, people with diabetes), and for carrying out HBP monitoring in people with a normal CBP but unexplained signs of hypertensive target organ damage.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001591.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Mark Caulfield
The US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has patient information about high blood pressure (in English and Spanish) and a guide to lowering high blood pressure that includes personal stories
The American Heart Association provides information on high blood pressure and on cardiovascular diseases (in several languages); it also provides personal stories about dealing with high blood pressure
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides detailed information for patients about hypertension (including a personal story) and about cardiovascular disease
The World Health Organization provides information on cardiovascular disease and controlling blood pressure; its A Global Brief on Hypertension was published on World Health Day 2013
The UK charity Blood Pressure UK provides information about white-coat hypertension and about home blood pressure monitoring
MedlinePlus provides links to further information about high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001591
PMCID: PMC3897370  PMID: 24465187
3.  Lifestyle modifications to prevent and control hypertension. 1. Methods and an overview of the Canadian recommendations. Canadian Hypertension Society, Canadian Coalition for High Blood Pressure Prevention and Control, Laboratory Centre for Disease Control at Health Canada, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada 
OBJECTIVE: To provide updated, evidence-based recommendations for health care professionals on lifestyle changes to prevent and control hypertension in otherwise healthy adults (except pregnant women). OPTIONS: For people at risk for hypertension, there are a number of lifestyle options that may avert the condition--maintaining a healthy body weight, moderating consumption of alcohol, exercising, reducing sodium intake, altering intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium, and reducing stress. Following these options will maintain or reduce the risk of hypertension. For people who already have hypertension, the options for controlling the condition are lifestyle modification, antihypertensive medications or a combination of these options; with no treatment, these people remain at risk for the complications of hypertension. OUTCOMES: The health outcomes considered were changes in blood pressure and in morbidity and mortality rates. Because of insufficient evidence, no economic outcomes were considered. EVIDENCE: A MEDLINE search was conducted for the period January 1996 to September 1996 for each of the interventions studied. Reference lists were scanned, experts were polled, and the personal files of the authors were used to identify other studies. All relevant articles were reviewed, classified according to study design and graded according to level of evidence. VALUES: A high value was placed on the avoidance of cardiovascular morbidity and premature death caused by untreated hypertension. BENEFITS, HARMS AND COSTS: Lifestyle modification by means of weight loss (or maintenance of healthy body weight), regular exercise and low alcohol consumption will reduce the blood pressure of appropriately selected normotensive and hypertensive people. Sodium restriction and stress management will reduce the blood pressure of appropriately selected hypertensive patients. The side effects of these therapies are few, and the indirect benefits are well known. There are certainly costs associated with lifestyle modification, but they were not measured in the studies reviewed. Supplementing the diet with potassium, calcium and magnesium has not been associated with a clinically important reduction in blood pressure in people consuming a healthy diet. RECOMMENDATIONS: (1) It is recommended that health care professionals determine the body mass index (weight in kilograms/[height in metres]2) and alcohol consumption of all adult patients and assess sodium consumption and stress levels in all hypertensive patients. (2) To reduce blood pressure in the population at large, it is recommended that Canadians attain and maintain a healthy body mass index. For those who choose to drink alcohol intake should be limited to 2 or fewer standard drinks per day (maximum of 14/week for men and 9/week for women). Adults should exercise regularly. (3) To reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients, individualized therapy is recommended. This therapy should emphasize weight loss for overweight patients, abstinence from or moderation in alcohol intake, regular exercise, restriction of sodium intake and, in appropriate circumstances, individualized cognitive behaviour modification to reduce the negative effects of stress. VALIDATION: The recommendations were reviewed by all of the sponsoring organizations and by participants in a satellite symposium of the fourth international Conference on Preventive Cardiology. They are similar to those of the World Hypertension League and the Joint National committee, with the exception of the recommendations on stress management, which are based on new information. They have not been clinically tested. SPONSORS: The Canadian Hypertension Society, the Canadian Coalition for High Blood Pressure Prevention and Control, the Laboratory Centre for Disease Control at health Canada, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
PMCID: PMC1230333  PMID: 10333847
4.  Trends of blood pressure levels and management in Västerbotten County, Sweden, during 1990–2010 
Global Health Action  2012;5:10.3402/gha.v5i0.18195.
Background
Availability of longitudinal data on hypertension and blood pressure levels are important to assess changes over time at the population level. Moreover, detailed information in different population sub-groups is important to understand inequity and social determinants of blood pressure distribution in the population.
Objectives
The objectives of this study are to: (1) describe the trends of population blood pressure levels in men and women between different educational levels and geographic areas in Sweden during 1990–2010; (2) identify prevalences of hypertension, awareness, treatment, and control in the population; and (3) assess the 10-year risk of developing hypertension among individuals with normal and high normal blood pressures.
Methods
This study is based on data from the Västerbotten Intervention Program (VIP) in Västerbotten County, Sweden. The cross-sectional analysis includes 133,082 VIP health examinations among individuals aged 30, 40, 50, and 60 years from 1990 to 2010. The panel analysis includes 34,868 individuals who were re-examined 10 years after the baseline examination. Individuals completed a self-administered health questionnaire that covers demographic and socio-economic information, self-reported health, and lifestyle behaviours. Blood pressure measurement was obtained prior to the questionnaire. In the cross-sectional analysis, trends of blood pressure by sex, and between educational groups and geographic areas are presented. In the panel analysis, the 10-year risk of developing hypertension is estimated using the predicted probability from logistic regression analysis for each sex, controlling for age and educational level.
Results
The prevalence of hypertension decreased from 1990 to 2010; from 43.8 to 36.0% (p < 0.001) among men, and 37.6 to 27.5% among women (p < 0.001). Individuals with basic education had a significantly higher prevalence of hypertension compared to those with medium or high education. Although the decreases were observed in all geographic areas, individuals in rural inland areas had a much higher prevalence compared to those who lived in Umeå City. The proportion of hypertensive women who were aware of their hypertension (61.7%) was significantly higher than men (51.6%). About 34% of men and 42% of women with hypertension reported taking blood pressure medication. Over time, awareness and control of hypertension improved (from 46.5% in 1990 to 69% in 2010 and from 30 to 65%, respectively). The gaps between educational groups diminished. This study shows a significantly higher risk of developing hypertension for men and women with high normal blood pressure compared to those with normal blood pressure at baseline in all age cohorts and educational groups. The average risks of developing hypertension among men with high normal blood pressure were 21.5, 45.8, and 56.3% in the 30, 40, and 50-year cohorts, respectively. Corresponding numbers for women were 22.6, 47.4, and 57.9%.
Conclusions
Levels of blood pressure and hypertension decreased significantly among the Västerbotten population in the last 21 years. Hypertension management has improved and there is increased awareness, treatment, and control of blood pressure. Despite these achievements, the persisting social gaps in blood pressure levels and management demand further investigation and action from policy makers. Future research should attempt to identify and address the root causes of these health inequities to ensure better and equal health for the whole population.
doi:10.3402/gha.v5i0.18195
PMCID: PMC3409341  PMID: 22855645
hypertension; awareness; treatment; control; Sweden; Västerbotten Intervention Program; high normal; prehypertension
5.  E-selectin gene polymorphisms are associated with essential hypertension: a case-control pilot study in a Chinese population 
BMC Medical Genetics  2010;11:127.
Background
Genetic variation is thought to contribute to the etiology of hypertension, and E-selectin is a candidate essential hypertension-associated gene. This study thus sought to investigate possible genetic associations between the T1880C, C602A and T1559C polymorphisms of E-selectin and essential hypertension.
Methods
Hypertensive patients (n = 490) and healthy normotensive subjects (n = 495) were screened for the genotypes T1880C, C602A and T1559C using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction after DNA extraction to identify representative variations in the E-selectin gene. The associations between genotypes and alleles of the three mutations and essential hypertension were then analyzed using a case-control study.
Results
Hypertensive patients and normotensive subjects were significantly different with respect to the genotypes CC, CA and AA (P = 0.005) and the C-allele frequency of C602A (P = 0.001). A comparison of dominant versus recessive models also revealed significant differences between the two groups (P = 0.004 and P = 0.02). When subgrouped by gender, these indexes differed significantly between normotensive and essential hypertensive males, but not in females. The additive model of the T1559C genotype did not differ between essential hypertensive and normotensive groups overall (P = 0.39), but it was different between hypertensive and normotensive males (P = 0.046) and females (P = 0.045). The CC + TC versus TT frequency of T1559C was also different in the recessive model of male hypertensive and normotensive groups (P = 0.02). Further analysis showed that C602A and T1559C were significantly associated with hypertension (C602A: OR = 7.58, 95%CI = 1.53-11.97, P < 0.01; and T1559C: OR = 6.77, 95%CI = 1.07-1.83, P < 0.05). The frequency of the C-C-C haplotype was significantly higher in hypertensive patients than in control individuals as well as in hypertensive and normotensive males (P = 0.008 and 0.01). The frequency of the C-A-T haplotype was higher only in male hypertensives and normotensives (P = 0.015). Furthermore, there was a significant interaction between E-selectin and gender (P = 0.02 for C602A and 0.04 for T1559C).
Conclusion
C602A and T1559C may be independent risk factors for essential hypertension in the Chinese population, whereas T1880C is not.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-11-127
PMCID: PMC2940768  PMID: 20796317
6.  Changes in left ventricular structure and function in patients with white coat hypertension: cross sectional survey 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1998;317(7158):565-570.
Objectives: To assess the relation between white coat hypertension and alterations of left ventricular structure and function.
Design: Cross sectional survey.
Setting: Augsburg, Germany.
Subjects: 1677 subjects, aged 25 to 74 years, who participated in an echocardiographic substudy of the monitoring of trends and determinants in cardiovascular disease Augsburg study during 1994-5.
Outcome measures: Blood pressure measurements and M mode, two dimensional, and Doppler echocardiography. After at least 30 minutes’ rest blood pressure was measured three times by a technician, and once by a physician after echocardiography. Subjects were classified as normotensive (technician <140/90 mm Hg, physician <160/95 mm Hg; n=849), white coat hypertensive (technician <140/90 mm Hg, physician ⩾160/95 mm Hg; n=160), mildly hypertensive (technician ⩾140/90 mm Hg, physician <160/95 mm Hg; n=129), and sustained hypertensive (taking antihypertensive drugs or blood pressure measured by a technican ⩾140/90 mm Hg, and physician ⩾160/95 mm Hg; n=538).
Results: White coat hypertension was more common in men than women (10.9% versus 8.2% respectively) and positively related to age and body mass index. After adjustment for these variables, white coat hypertension was associated with an increase in left ventricular mass and an increased prevalence of left ventricular hypertrophy (odds ratio 1.9, 95% confidence interval 1.2 to 3.2; P=0.009) compared with normotensive patients. The increase in left ventricular mass was secondary to significantly increased septal and posterior wall thicknesses whereas end diastolic diameters were similar in both groups with white coat hypertension or normotension. Additionally, the systolic white coat effect (difference between blood pressures recorded by a technician and physician) was associated with increased left ventricular mass and increased prevalence of left ventricular hypertrophy (P<0.05 each). Values for systolic left ventricular function (M mode fractional shortening) were above normal in subjects with white coat hypertension whereas diastolic filling and left atrial size were similar to those in normotension.
Conclusion: About 10% of the general population show exaggerated inotropic and blood pressure responses when mildly stressed. This is associated with an increased risk of left ventricular hypertrophy.
Key messages About 10% of the general population display white coat hypertension After adjustment for age, body mass index, and baseline blood pressure, white coat hypertension is associated with increased left ventricular mass and increased risk of left ventricular hypertrophy In white coat hypertension, after adjustment for covariates, systolic function has values above normal whereas diastolic filling is unchanged White coat hypertension cannot be dismissed as a benign condition
PMCID: PMC28649  PMID: 9721112
7.  The Influence of Health Systems on Hypertension Awareness, Treatment, and Control: A Systematic Literature Review 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(7):e1001490.
Will Maimaris and colleagues systematically review the evidence that national or regional health systems, including place of care and medication co-pays, influence hypertension awareness, treatment, and control.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Hypertension (HT) affects an estimated one billion people worldwide, nearly three-quarters of whom live in low- or middle-income countries (LMICs). In both developed and developing countries, only a minority of individuals with HT are adequately treated. The reasons are many but, as with other chronic diseases, they include weaknesses in health systems. We conducted a systematic review of the influence of national or regional health systems on HT awareness, treatment, and control.
Methods and Findings
Eligible studies were those that analyzed the impact of health systems arrangements at the regional or national level on HT awareness, treatment, control, or antihypertensive medication adherence. The following databases were searched on 13th May 2013: Medline, Embase, Global Health, LILACS, Africa-Wide Information, IMSEAR, IMEMR, and WPRIM. There were no date or language restrictions. Two authors independently assessed papers for inclusion, extracted data, and assessed risk of bias. A narrative synthesis of the findings was conducted. Meta-analysis was not conducted due to substantial methodological heterogeneity in included studies. 53 studies were included, 11 of which were carried out in LMICs. Most studies evaluated health system financing and only four evaluated the effect of either human, physical, social, or intellectual resources on HT outcomes. Reduced medication co-payments were associated with improved HT control and treatment adherence, mainly evaluated in US settings. On balance, health insurance coverage was associated with improved outcomes of HT care in US settings. Having a routine place of care or physician was associated with improved HT care.
Conclusions
This review supports the minimization of medication co-payments in health insurance plans, and although studies were largely conducted in the US, the principle is likely to apply more generally. Studies that identify and analyze complexities and links between health systems arrangements and their effects on HT management are required, particularly in LMICs.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
In 2008, one billion people, three-quarters of whom were living in low- and middle-income countries, had high blood pressure (hypertension). Worldwide, hypertension, which rarely has any symptoms, leads to about 7.5 million deaths annually from heart attacks, stroke, other cardiovascular diseases, and kidney disease. Hypertension, selected by the World Health Organization as the theme for World Health Day 2013, is diagnosed by measuring blood pressure, the force that blood circulating in the body exerts on the inside of large blood vessels. Blood pressure is highest when the heart is contracts to pump blood out (systolic blood pressure) and lowest when the heart relaxes and refills (diastolic blood pressure). Normal adult blood pressure is defined as a systolic blood pressure of less than 120 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and a diastolic blood pressure of less than 80 mmHg (a blood pressure of less than 120/80 mmHg). A blood pressure reading of more than 140/90 mmHg indicates hypertension. Many factors affect blood pressure, but overweight people and individuals who eat fatty or salty foods are at high risk of developing hypertension.
Why Was This Study Done?
Most individuals can achieve good hypertension control, which reduces death and disability from cardiovascular and kidney disease, by making lifestyle changes (mild hypertension) and/or by taking antihypertensive drugs. Yet, in both developed and developing countries, many people with hypertension are not aware of their condition and are not adequately treated. As with other chronic diseases, weaknesses in health care systems probably contribute to the inadequate treatment of hypertension. A health care system comprises all the organizations, institutions, and resources whose primary purpose is to improve health. Weaknesses in health care systems can exist at the national, regional, district, community, and household level. In this systematic review (a study that uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic), the researchers investigate how national and regional health care system arrangements influence hypertension awareness, treatment, and control. Actions that might influence hypertension care at this level of health care systems include providing treatment for hypertension at no or reduced cost, the introduction of financial incentives to healthcare practitioners for the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension, and enhanced insurance coverage in countries such as the US where people pay for health care through insurance policies.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 53 studies that analyzed whether regional or national health care systems arrangements were associated with patient awareness of hypertension, treatment of hypertension, adherence to antihypertensive medication treatment, and control of hypertension. The researchers used an established conceptual framework for health care systems and an approach called narrative synthesis to analyze the results of these studies, most of which were conducted in the US (36 studies) and other high-income countries (eight studies). Nearly all the studies evaluated the effects of health system financing on hypertension outcomes, although several looked at the effects of delivery and governance of health systems on these outcomes. The researchers' analysis revealed an association between reduced medication co-payments (drug costs that are not covered by health insurance and that are paid by patients in countries without universal free healthcare) and improved hypertension control and treatment adherence, mainly in US settings. In addition, in US settings, health insurance coverage was associated with improved hypertension outcomes, as was having a routine physician or place of care.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that minimizing co-payments for health care and expansion of health insurance coverage in countries without universal free health care may improve the awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension. Although these findings are based mainly on US studies, they are likely to apply more generally but, importantly, these findings indicate that additional, high-quality studies are needed to unravel the impact of health systems arrangements on the management of hypertension. In particular, they reveal few studies in low- and middle-income countries where most of the global burden of hypertension lies and where weaknesses in health systems often result in deficiencies in the care of chronic diseases. Moreover, they highlight a need for studies that evaluate how aspects of health care systems other than financing (for example, delivery and governance mechanisms) and interactions between health care system arrangements affect hypertension outcomes. Without the results of such studies, governments and national and international organizations will not know the best ways to deal effectively with the global public-health crisis posed by hypertension.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001490.
The US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has patient information about high blood pressure (in English and Spanish)
The American Heart Association provides information on high blood pressure (in several languages) and personal stories about dealing with high blood pressure
The UK National Health Service (NHS) Choices website provides detailed information for patients about hypertension and a personal story about hypertension
The World Health Organization provides information on controlling blood pressure and on health systems (in several languages); its "A Global Brief on Hypertension" was published on World Health Day 2013
MedlinePlus provides links to further information about high blood pressure (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001490
PMCID: PMC3728036  PMID: 23935461
8.  Survival in treated hypertension: follow up study after two decades 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1998;317(7152):167-171.
Objective: To compare survival and cause specific mortality in hypertensive men with non-hypertensive men derived from the same random population, and to study mortality and morbidity from cardiovascular diseases in the hypertensive men in relation to effects on cardiovascular risk factors during 22-23 years of follow up.
Design: Prospective, population based observational study.
Subjects and methods: 686 hypertensive men aged 47-55 at screening compared with 6810 non-hypertensive men. The hypertensive men were having stepped care treatment with either β adrenergic blocking drugs, thiazide diuretics, or combination treatment. Mortality, morbidity, and adverse effects were registered at yearly examinations and from death certificates.
Main outcome measures: All cause mortality and cause specific mortality.
Results: Treated hypertensive men had significantly impaired probability of total survival as well as survival from coronary heart disease and stroke. All cause mortality as well as coronary heart disease and stroke mortality were very similar in hypertensive men and normotensive men during the first decade, but increased steadily thereafter despite continuous good blood pressure control. Smoking, signs of target organ damage, and high serum cholesterol levels, but not blood pressure at screening, were significantly related to the incidence of coronary heart disease during follow up. In time dependent Cox’s regression analysis, the incidence of coronary heart disease was significantly related only to serum cholesterol concentrations in the study. Cancer mortality was almost similar in treated hypertensive men (61/686, 8.9%) and non-hypertensive men (732/6810, 10.8%).
Conclusion: Treated hypertensive men had impaired survival and increased mortality from cardiovascular disease compared with non-hypertensive men of similar age. These differences were observed during the second decade of follow up. During an observation period of 22-23 years—about 15 000 patient years—hypertensive men receiving diuretics and β blockers had no increased risk of cancer or non-cardiovascular disease.
Key messages Hypertension is a prevalent (10-20%) and important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In controlled trials over 3-5 years drug treatment for hypertension prevents these complications, but little is known about long term prognosis During 20-22 years treated hypertensive men had a significantly increased mortality, especially from coronary heart disease, compared with non-hypertensive men from the same population The high incidence of myocardial infarction was related to organ damage, smoking, and cholesterol at the time of entry to the study, and to achieved serum cholesterol concentrations during follow up The poor prognosis for mortality from coronary heart disease is dependent upon strict monitoring of serum cholesterol concentrations
PMCID: PMC28606  PMID: 9665894
9.  Twenty-Four-Hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring in Hypertension 
Executive Summary
Objective
The objective of this health technology assessment was to determine the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) for hypertension.
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Hypertension occurs when either systolic blood pressure, the pressure in the artery when the heart contracts, or diastolic blood pressure, the pressure in the artery when the heart relaxes between beats, are consistently high. Blood pressure (BP) that is consistently more than 140/90 mmHg (systolic/diastolic) is considered high. A lower threshold, greater than 130/80 mmHg (systolic/diastolic), is set for individuals with diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
In 2006 and 2007, the age-standardized incidence rate of diagnosed hypertension in Canada was 25.8 per 1,000 (450,000 individuals were newly diagnosed). During the same time period, 22.7% of adult Canadians were living with diagnosed hypertension.
A smaller proportion of Canadians are unaware they have hypertension; therefore, the estimated number of Canadians affected by this disease may be higher. Diagnosis and management of hypertension are important, since elevated BP levels are related to the risk of cardiovascular disease, including stroke. In Canada in 2003, the costs to the health care system related to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of hypertension were over $2.3 billion (Cdn).
Technology
The 24-hour ABPM device consists of a standard inflatable cuff attached to a small computer weighing about 500 grams, which is worn over the shoulder or on a belt. The technology is noninvasive and fully automated. The device takes BP measurements every 15 to 30 minutes over a 24-to 28-hour time period, thus providing extended, continuous BP recordings even during a patient’s normal daily activities. Information on the multiple BP measurements can be downloaded to a computer.
The main detection methods used by the device are auscultation and oscillometry. The device avoids some of the pitfalls of conventional office or clinic blood pressure monitoring (CBPM) using a cuff and mercury sphygmomanometer such as observer bias (the phenomenon of measurement error when the observer overemphasizes expected results) and white coat hypertension (the phenomenon of elevated BP when measured in the office or clinic but normal BP when measured outside of the medical setting).
Research Questions
Is there a difference in patient outcome and treatment protocol using 24-hour ABPM versus CBPM for uncomplicated hypertension?
Is there a difference between the 2 technologies when white coat hypertension is taken into account?
What is the cost-effectiveness and budget impact of 24-hour ABPM versus CBPM for uncomplicated hypertension?
Research Methods
Literature Search
Search Strategy
A literature search was performed on August 4, 2011 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January 1, 1997 to August 4, 2011. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer. For those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. Articles with unknown eligibility were reviewed with a second clinical epidemiologist and then a group of epidemiologists until consensus was established. The quality of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to GRADE methodology.
Inclusion Criteria
English language articles;
published between January 1, 1997 and August 4, 2011;
adults aged 18 years of age or older;
journal articles reporting on the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, or safety for the comparison of interest;
clearly described study design and methods;
health technology assessments, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, or randomized controlled trials.
Exclusion Criteria
non-English papers;
animal or in vitro studies;
case reports, case series, or case-case studies;
studies comparing different antihypertensive therapies and evaluating their antihypertensive effects using 24-hour ABPM;
studies on home or self-monitoring of BP, and studies on automated office BP measurement;
studies in high-risk subgroups (e.g. diabetes, pregnancy, kidney disease).
Outcomes of Interest
Patient Outcomes
mortality: all cardiovascular events (e.g., myocardial infarction [MI], stroke);
non-fatal: all cardiovascular events (e.g., MI, stroke);
combined fatal and non-fatal: all cardiovascular events (e.g., MI, stroke);
all non-cardiovascular events;
control of BP (e.g. systolic and/or diastolic target level).
Drug-Related Outcomes
percentage of patients who show a reduction in, or stop, drug treatment;
percentage of patients who begin multi-drug treatment;
drug therapy use (e.g. number, intensity of drug use);
drug-related adverse events.
Quality of Evidence
The quality of the body of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE Working Group criteria.
As stated by the GRADE Working Group, the following definitions of quality were used in grading the quality of the evidence:
Summary of Findings
Short-Term Follow-Up Studies (Length of Follow-Up of ≤ 1 Year)
Based on very low quality of evidence, there is no difference between technologies for non-fatal cardiovascular events.
Based on moderate quality of evidence, ABPM resulted in improved BP control among patients with sustained hypertension compared to CBPM.
Based on low quality of evidence, ABPM resulted in hypertensive patients being more likely to stop antihypertensive therapy and less likely to proceed to multi-drug therapy compared to CBPM.
Based on low quality of evidence, there is a beneficial effect of ABPM on the intensity of antihypertensive drug use compared to CBPM.
Based on moderate quality of evidence, there is no difference between technologies in the number of antihypertensive drugs used.
Based on low to very low quality of evidence, there is no difference between technologies in the risk for a drug-related adverse event or noncardiovascular event.
Long-Term Follow-Up Study (Mean Length of Follow-Up of 5 Years)
Based on moderate quality of evidence, there is a beneficial effect of ABPM on total combined cardiovascular events compared to CBPM.
Based on low quality of evidence, there is a lack of a beneficial effect of ABPM on nonfatal cardiovascular events compared to CBPM; however, the lack of a beneficial effect is based on a borderline result.
Based on low quality of evidence, there is no beneficial effect of ABPM on fatal cardiovascular events compared to CBPM.
Based on low quality of evidence, there is no difference between technologies for the number of patients who began multi-drug therapy.
Based on low quality of evidence, there is a beneficial effect of CBPM on control of BP compared to ABPM. This result is in the opposite direction than expected.
Based on moderate quality of evidence, there is no difference between technologies in the risk for a drug-related adverse event.
PMCID: PMC3377518  PMID: 23074425
10.  Alcohol Intake and Blood Pressure: A Systematic Review Implementing a Mendelian Randomization Approach 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(3):e52.
Background
Alcohol has been reported to be a common and modifiable risk factor for hypertension. However, observational studies are subject to confounding by other behavioural and sociodemographic factors, while clinical trials are difficult to implement and have limited follow-up time. Mendelian randomization can provide robust evidence on the nature of this association by use of a common polymorphism in aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) as a surrogate for measuring alcohol consumption. ALDH2 encodes a major enzyme involved in alcohol metabolism. Individuals homozygous for the null variant (*2*2) experience adverse symptoms when drinking alcohol and consequently drink considerably less alcohol than wild-type homozygotes (*1*1) or heterozygotes. We hypothesise that this polymorphism may influence the risk of hypertension by affecting alcohol drinking behaviour.
Methods and Findings
We carried out fixed effect meta-analyses of the ALDH2 genotype with blood pressure (five studies, n = 7,658) and hypertension (three studies, n = 4,219) using studies identified via systematic review. In males, we obtained an overall odds ratio of 2.42 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.66–3.55, p = 4.8 × 10−6) for hypertension comparing *1*1 with *2*2 homozygotes and an odds ratio of 1.72 (95% CI 1.17–2.52, p = 0.006) comparing heterozygotes (surrogate for moderate drinkers) with *2*2 homozygotes. Systolic blood pressure was 7.44 mmHg (95% CI 5.39–9.49, p = 1.1 × 10−12) greater among *1*1 than among *2*2 homozygotes, and 4.24 mmHg (95% CI 2.18–6.31, p = 0.00005) greater among heterozygotes than among *2*2 homozygotes.
Conclusions
These findings support the hypothesis that alcohol intake has a marked effect on blood pressure and the risk of hypertension.
Using a mendelian randomization approach Sarah Lewis and colleagues find strong support for the hypothesis that alcohol intake has a marked effect on blood pressure and the risk of hypertension.
Editors' Summary
Background.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common medical condition that affects nearly a third of US and UK adults. Hypertension has no symptoms but can lead to heart attacks or strokes. It is diagnosed by measuring blood pressure—the force that blood moving around the body exerts on the inside of large blood vessels. Blood pressure is highest when the heart is pumping out blood (systolic pressure) and lowest when it is filling up with blood (diastolic pressure). Normal blood pressure is defined as a systolic pressure of less than 130 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and a diastolic pressure of less than 85 mmHg (a blood pressure of 130/85). A reading of more than 140/90 indicates hypertension. Many factors affect blood pressure, but overweight people and individuals who eat too much salty or fatty foods are at high risk of developing hypertension. Mild hypertension can often be corrected by lifestyle changes, but many people also take antihypertensive drugs to reduce their blood pressure.
Why Was This Study Done?
Another modifiable lifestyle factor thought to affect blood pressure is alcohol intake. Observational studies that ask people about their drinking habits and measure their blood pressure suggest that alcohol intake correlates with blood pressure, but they cannot prove a causal link because of “confounding”—other risk factors associated with alcohol drinking, such as diet, might also affect the study participant's blood pressures. A trial that randomly assigns people to different alcohol intakes could provide this proof of causality, but such a trial is impractical. In this study, therefore, the researchers have used “Mendelian randomization” to investigate whether alcohol intake affects blood pressure. An inactive variant of aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2; the enzyme that removes alcohol from the body) has been identified. People who inherit the variant form of this gene from both parents have an ALDH2 *2*2 genotype (genetic makeup) and become flushed and nauseated after drinking. Consequently, they drink less than people with a *1*2 genotype and much less than those with a *1*1 genotype. Because inheritance of these genetic variants does not affect lifestyle factors other than alcohol intake, an association between ALDH2 genotypes and blood pressure would indicate that alcohol intake has an effect on blood pressure without any confounding.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified ten published studies (mainly done in Japan where the ALDH2 gene variant is common) on associations between ALDH2 genotype and blood pressure or hypertension using a detailed search protocol (a “systematic review”). A meta-analysis (a statistical method for combining the results of independent studies) of the studies that had investigated the association between ALDH2 genotype and hypertension showed that men with the *1*1 genotype (highest alcohol intake) and those with the *1*2 genotype (intermediate alcohol intake) were 2.42 and 1.72 times more likely, respectively, to have hypertension than those with the *2*2 genotype (lowest alcohol intake). There was no association between ALDH2 genotype and hypertension among the women in these studies because they drank very little. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures showed a similar relationship to ALDH2 genotype in a second meta-analysis of relevant studies. Finally, the researchers estimated that for men the lifetime effect of drinking 1 g of alcohol a day (one unit of alcohol contains 8 g of alcohol in the UK and 14 g in the US; recommended daily limits in these countries are 3–4 and 1–2 units, respectively) would be an increase in systolic blood pressure of 0.24 mmHg.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings support the suggestion that alcohol has a marked effect on blood pressure and hypertension. Consequently, some cases of hypertension could be prevented by encouraging people to reduce their daily alcohol intake. Although the Mendelian randomization approach avoids most of the confounding intrinsic to observational studies, it is possible that a gene near ALDH2 that has no effect on alcohol intake affects blood pressure, since genes are often inherited in blocks. Alternatively, ALDH2 could affect blood pressure independent of alcohol intake. The possibility that ALDH2 could effect blood pressure independently of alcohol is intake made unlikely by the fact that no effect of genotype on blood pressure is seen among women who drink very little. Additional large-scale studies are needed to address these possibilities, to confirm the current finding in more people, and to improve the estimates of the effect that alcohol intake has on blood pressure.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050052.
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has a page on hypertension (in English and Spanish)
The American Heart Association provides information for patients and health professionals about hypertension
The UK Blood Pressure Association provides information for patients and health professionals on all aspects of hypertension, including information about alcohol affects blood pressure
The Explore@Bristol science center (a UK charity) provides an alcohol unit calculator and information on the effects of alcohol
The International Center for Alcohol Policies provides drinking guidelines for countries around the world
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050052
PMCID: PMC2265305  PMID: 18318597
11.  hs-CRP: A potential marker for hypertension in Kashmiri population 
Hypertension is the most important public health problem in developing countries and one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, and it has been reported that hypertension is in part an inflammatory disorder and several workers have reported elevated levels of CRP in hypertensive individuals. The main aim of the present study was to evaluate the association between blood pressure and serum CRP levels across the range of blood pressure categories including prehypertension. A total of 104 patients and 63 control subjects were included in the present study. The level of CRP in the serum samples was estimated by a high sensitivity immunoturbidometric assay. Standard unpaired student’s ‘t’ test was used for comparison of hs-CRP levels between hypertensive patients and normotensive control subjects and between patient groups with different grades of hypertension and different durations of hypertensive histories. The mean serum hs-CRP level in hypertensive patients was 3.26 mg/L compared with 1.36 mg/L among normotensive control subjects (P<0.001). On comparison with normotensive control subjects, the hs-CRP levels vary significantly both with grades and duration of hypertension, with most significant difference found in patients with prehypertension (P<0.001), followed by Stage-I (P=0.01) and Stage-II(P=0.02) hypertensives. Significant difference in hs-CRP levels was also found in patients with shorter duration of hypertensive history (≤ 1year) when compared with those with ≥5 years of hypertensive history (P<0.01). Our study reveals a graded association between blood pressure and CRP elevation in people with hypertension. Individuals with prehypertension or with shorter duration of hypertension (≤1 Year) had significantly a greater likelihood of CRP elevation in comparison to chronic stage-I or stage-II hypertensives.
doi:10.1007/s12291-010-0037-7
PMCID: PMC3453101  PMID: 23105911
Hypertension; Inflammatory disorder; hs-CRP; Stage I
12.  Survival with Treated and Well-Controlled Blood Pressure: Findings from a Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(4):e17792.
Aim
To compare survival and incident cardiovascular disease between normotensive, untreated hypertensive, treated and poorly-controlled hypertensive and treated and well-controlled hypertensive adults.
Methods and Results
Data from the British Regional Heart Study (men) and British Women's Heart and Health Study (women) were used (N = 6476). Blood pressure and treatment were assessed at baseline (1998–2001) when participants were aged 60–79 years and participants were followed up for a median of 8 years. Date and cause of death were obtained from death certificates and non-fatal cardiovascular disease events were obtained from repeat detailed medical record reviews. Of the whole cohort 52% of women and 49% of men had untreated hypertension and a further 22% and 18%, respectively, had poorly treated hypertension. Just 3% of women and 4% of men had treated and well controlled hypertension and 23% and 29%, respectively, were normotensive. Compared to normotensive individuals, incident cardiovascular disease (fatal and non-fatal) was increased in those with poorly-controlled hypertension (Hazard Ratio (HR): 1.88; 95%CI: 1.53, 2.30), those with untreated hypertension (HR 1.46; 95%CI 1.22, 1.75) and those who were well-controlled hypertension (HR 1.38; 95%CI 0.94, 2.03). Adjustment for baseline differences in mean blood pressure between the groups resulted in attenuation of the increased risk in the poorly-controlled (1.52 (1.18, 1.97) and untreated groups (1.21 (0.97, 1.52), but did not change the association in the well-controlled group. All-cause mortality was also increased in all three hypertension groups but estimates were imprecise with wide confidence intervals.
Conclusions
Half of women and men aged 60–79 in Britain had untreated hypertension and only a very small proportion of those with diagnosed and treated hypertension were well controlled. Those with hypertension, irrespective of whether this was treated and controlled or not, were at greater risk of future cardiovascular disease than those who are normotensive.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017792
PMCID: PMC3076376  PMID: 21533232
13.  Study of urban community survey in India: growing trend of high prevalence of hypertension in a developing country 
The prevalence pattern of hypertension in developing countries is different from that in the developed countries. In India, a very large, populous and typical developing country, community surveys have documented that between three and six decades, prevalence of hypertension has increased by about 30 times among urban dwellers and by about 10 times among the rural inhabitants. Various factors might have contributed to this rising trend and among others, consequences of urbanization such as change in life style pattern, diet and stress, increased population and shrinking employment have been implicated. In this paper, we study the prevalence of hypertension in an urban community of India using the JNC VII criteria, with the aim of identifying the risk factors and suggesting intervention strategies. A total of 1609 respondents out of 1662 individuals participated in our cross-sectional survey of validated and structured questionnaire followed by blood pressure measurement. Results showed pre-hypertensive levels of blood pressures among 35.8% of the participants in systolic group (120-139mm of Hg) and 47.7% in diastolic group (80-89 mm of Hg). Systolic hypertension (140 mm of Hg) was present in 40.9% and diastolic hypertension (90 mm of Hg) in 29.3% of the participants. Age and sex-specific prevalence of hypertension showed progressive rise of systolic and diastolic hypertension in women when compared to men. Men showed progressive rise in systolic hypertension beyond fifth decade of life. Bivariate analysis showed significant relationship of hypertension with age, sedentary occupation, body mass index (BMI), diet, ischemic heart disease, and smoking. Multivariate analysis revealed age and BMI as risk factors, and non-vegetarian diet as protective factor with respect to hypertension. Prevalence of prehypertensives was high among younger subjects - particularly students and laborers who need special attention. Role of non-vegetarian diet as a protective factor might have been related to fish-eating behavior of the sample population, who also use mustard oil as cooking medium - both of which have significant level of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. The observed prevalence of hypertension in this study and other studies suggest the need for a comprehensive national policy to control hypertension in India, and, in other similar developing countries.
PMCID: PMC1145137  PMID: 15968343
Hypertension; eastern India; urban study; JNC-VII criteria; prehypertensives; non-vegetarian diet; developing countries
14.  Lifestyle modifications to prevent and control hypertension. 3. Recommendations on alcohol consumption. Canadian Hypertension Society, Canadian Coalition for High Blood Pressure Prevention and Control, Laboratory Centre for Disease Control at Health Canada, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada 
OBJECTIVE: To provide updated, evidence-based recommendations concerning the effects of alcohol consumption on the prevention and control of hypertension in otherwise healthy adults (except pregnant women). OPTIONS: There are 2 main options for those at risk for hypertension: avert the condition by limiting alcohol consumption or by using other nonpharmacologic methods, or maintain or increase the risk of hypertension by making no change in alcohol consumption. The options for those who already have hypertension include decreasing alcohol consumption or using another nonpharmacologic method to reduce hypertension; commencing, continuing or intensifying antihypertensive medication; or taking no action and remaining at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. OUTCOMES: The health outcomes considered were changes in blood pressure and in morbidity and mortality rates. Because of insufficient evidence, no economic outcomes were considered. EVIDENCE: A MEDLINE search was conducted for the period 1966-1996 with the terms ethyl alcohol and hypertension. Other relevant evidence was obtained from the reference lists of articles identified, from the personal files of the authors and through contacts with experts. The articles were reviewed, classified according to study design, and graded according to the level of evidence. VALUES: A high value was placed on the avoidance of cardiovascular morbidity and premature death caused by untreated hypertension. BENEFITS, HARMS AND COSTS: A reduction in alcohol consumption from more than 2 standard drinks per day reduces the blood pressure of both hypertensive and normotensive people. The lowest overall mortality rates in observational studies were associated with drinking habits that were within these guidelines. Side effects and costs were not measured in any of the studies. RECOMMENDATIONS: (1) It is recommended that health care professionals determine how much alcohol their patients consume. (2) To reduce blood pressure in the population at large, it is recommended that alcohol consumption be in accordance with Canadian low-risk drinking guidelines (i.e., healthy adults who choose to drink should limit alcohol consumption to 2 or fewer standard drinks per day, with consumption not exceeding 14 standard drinks per week for men and 9 standard drinks per week for women). (3) Hypertensive patients should also be advised to limit alcohol consumption to the levels set out in the Canadian low-risk drinking guidelines. VALIDATION: These recommendations are similar to those of the World Hypertension League, the National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group on Primary Prevention of Hypertension and the previous recommendations of the Canadian Coalition for High Blood Pressure Prevention and Control and the Canadian Hypertension Society. They have not been clinically tested. The low-risk drinking guidelines are those of the Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. SPONSORS: The Canadian Hypertension Society, the Canadian Coalition for High Blood Pressure Prevention and Control, the Laboratory Centre for Disease Control at Health Canada, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. The low-risk drinking guidelines have been endorsed by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and several provincial organizations.
PMCID: PMC1230335  PMID: 10333849
15.  Life Course Trajectories of Systolic Blood Pressure Using Longitudinal Data from Eight UK Cohorts 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(6):e1000440.
Analysis of eight population-based and occupational cohorts from the UK reveals the patterns of change of blood pressure in the population through the life course.
Background
Much of our understanding of the age-related progression of systolic blood pressure (SBP) comes from cross-sectional data, which do not directly capture within-individual change. We estimated life course trajectories of SBP using longitudinal data from seven population-based cohorts and one predominantly white collar occupational cohort, each from the United Kingdom and with data covering different but overlapping age periods.
Methods and Findings
Data are from 30,372 individuals and comprise 102,583 SBP observations spanning from age 7 to 80+y. Multilevel models were fitted to each cohort. Four life course phases were evident in both sexes: a rapid increase in SBP coinciding with peak adolescent growth, a more gentle increase in early adulthood, a midlife acceleration beginning in the fourth decade, and a period of deceleration in late adulthood where increases in SBP slowed and SBP eventually declined. These phases were still present, although at lower levels, after adjusting for increases in body mass index though adulthood. The deceleration and decline in old age was less evident after excluding individuals who had taken antihypertensive medication. Compared to the population-based cohorts, the occupational cohort had a lower mean SBP, a shallower annual increase in midlife, and a later midlife acceleration. The maximum sex difference was found at age 26 (+8.2 mm Hg higher in men, 95% CI: 6.7, 9.8); women then experienced steeper rises and caught up by the seventh decade.
Conclusions
Our investigation shows a general pattern of SBP progression from childhood in the UK, and suggests possible differences in this pattern during adulthood between a general population and an occupational population.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
About a third of US and UK adults have high blood pressure (hypertension). Although hypertension has no obvious symptoms, it can lead to life-threatening heart attacks, stroke, and other forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD). It is diagnosed by measuring blood pressure—the force that blood moving around the body exerts on the inside of large blood vessels. Blood pressure is highest when the heart is pumping out blood (systolic blood pressure [SBP]) and lowest when the heart is re-filling with blood (diastolic blood pressure [DBP]). Normal adult blood pressure is defined as an SBP of less than 130 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) and a DBP of less than 85 mm Hg (a blood pressure of 130/85). A reading of more than 140/90 indicates hypertension. Many factors affect blood pressure, but overweight people and individuals who eat fatty or salty food are at high risk of developing hypertension. Moreover, blood pressure tends to increase with age. Mild hypertension can often be corrected by making lifestyle changes, but many people take antihypertensive drugs to reduce their blood pressure.
Why Was This Study Done?
Several trials have indicated that SBP is an important, modifiable risk factor for CVD. But, to determine the best way to prevent CVD, it is important to understand how SBP changes through life and how lifestyle factors affect this age-related progression. Textbook descriptions of age-related changes in SBP are based on studies that measured SBP at a single time point in groups (cohorts) of people of different ages. However, such “cross-sectional” studies do not capture within-individual changes in SBP and may be affected by environmental effects related to specific historical periods. The best way to measure age-related changes in SBP is through longitudinal studies in which SBP is repeatedly measured over many years in a single cohort. Such studies are underway, but it will be some decades before individuals in these studies reach old age. In this study, therefore, the researchers use data from multiple UK cohorts that had repeated SBP measurements taken over different but overlapping periods of life to investigate the life course trajectory of SBP.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used statistical models to analyze data from longitudinal studies of SBP in seven population-based cohorts (the participants were randomly chosen from the general population) and in one occupational cohort (civil servants). SBP measurements were available for 30,372 individuals with ages spanning from seven years to more than 80 years. The researchers' analysis revealed four phases of SBP change in both sexes: a rapid increase in SBP during adolescent growth, a gentler increase in early adulthood, a midlife acceleration beginning in the fourth decade of life, and a period in late adulthood when SBP increases slowed and then reversed. This last phase was less marked when people taking antihypertensive drugs were excluded from the analysis. After adjusting for increases in body mass index (a measure of body fat) during adulthood, the magnitude of the SBP age-related changes was similar but the average SBP at each age was lower. Compared to the population-based cohorts, the occupational cohort had a lower average SBP, a shallower annual increase in SBP, and a later midlife acceleration, possibly because of socially determined modifiable SBP-related factors such as diet and lifestyle. Finally, although women had lower SBPs in early adulthood than men, they experienced steeper midlife SBP rises (probably because of a menopause-related effect on salt sensitivity) so that by the seventh decade of life, men and women had similar average SBPs.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings describe the general pattern of age-related progression of SBP from early childhood in the UK. The findings may not be generalizable because other populations may be exposed to different distributions of modifiable factors. In addition, their accuracy may be affected by differences between cohorts in how SBP was measured. Nevertheless, these findings—in particular, the slower midlife increase in SBP in the occupational cohort than in the population-based cohorts—suggest that the key determinants of age-related increases in blood pressure are modifiable and could be targeted for CVD prevention. Further research is now needed to identify exactly which factors affect the life course trajectory of SBP and to discover when these factors have their greatest influence on SBP.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000440.
The US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has patient information about high blood pressure (in English and Spanish)
The American Heart Association provides information on high blood pressure and on cardiovascular diseases (in several languages)
The UK National Health Service Choices Web site also provides detailed information for patients about hypertension and about cardiovascular disease
MedlinePlus provides links to further information about high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000440
PMCID: PMC3114857  PMID: 21695075
16.  Inheritance of abnormal erythrocyte cation transport in essential hypertension. 
Net fluxes of sodium and potassium ions were determined in sodium-loaded, potassium-depleted erythrocytes from 370 white subjects, 194 of whom had essential hypertension or had been born to parents with essential hypertension. Findings were compared with those in 86 controls who were normotensive and did not have a family history of hypertension. Compared with controls all patients with essential hypertension had a low sodium to potassium ratio secondary to a deficit in the sodium-potassium cotransport system. A similar abnormality was found in subjects born to parents with essential hypertension, the prevalences of a deficient cotransport system in such subjects being 53.6% (52 out of 97) among those with one hypertensive parent and 73.7% (14 out of 19) among those with two hypertensive parents. Both sexes were equally affected. Studies in 14 families over two or three generations showed the erythrocyte cation abnormality in one or more members of each consecutive generation. No close association was evident between the deficient erythrocyte sodium-potassium cotransport system and either blood groups ABO, Rh, Kidd, Duffy, P, and MNS or the major histocompatibility HLA antigens. Out of 90 consecutive unrelated and normotensive white blood donors, 36 showed a low erythrocyte sodium-potassium net flux ratio. It is concluded that in white people abnormal erythrocyte cation transport is a biochemical disorder characteristic of essential hypertension and transmitted by a dominant and autosomal mode expressing a single abnormal gene.
PMCID: PMC1505030  PMID: 6786458
17.  Prevalence, awareness and risk factors of hypertension in a large cohort of Iranian adult population 
Journal of hypertension  2013;31(7):1364-1371.
Background
There is considerable variation in hypertension prevalence and awareness, and their correlates, across different geographic locations and ethnic groups. We performed this cross-sectional analysis on data from the Golestan Cohort Study (GCS).
Methods
Enrollment in this study occurred in 2004–2008, and included 50,045 healthy subjects from Golestan Province in northeastern Iran. Hypertension was defined as a systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥140, a diastolic blood pressure (DBP) ≥90, a prior diagnosis of hypertension, or the use of antihypertensive drugs. Potential correlates of hypertension and its awareness were analyzed by logistic regression adjusted for sex, age, BMI, place of residence, literacy, ethnicity, physical activity, smoking, black and green tea consumption and wealth score.
Results
Of the total cohort participants, 21,350 (42.7%) were hypertensive. Age-standardized prevalence of hypertension, using the 2001 WHO standard world population, was 41.8% (95%CI: 38.3%–45.2%). Hypertension was directly associated with female sex, increased BMI, Turkmen ethnicity, and lack of physical activity, and inversely associated with drinking black tea and wealth score. Among hypertensive subjects, 46.2% were aware of their disease, 17.6% were receiving antihypertensive medication, and 32.1% of the treated subjects had controlled hypertension. Hypertension awareness was greater among women, the elderly, overweight and obese subjects, and those with a higher wealth score.
Conclusions
Hypertension is highly prevalent in rural Iran, many of the affected individuals are unaware of their disease, and the rate of control by antihypertensive medications is low. Increasing hypertension awareness and access to health services, especially among less privileged residents are recommended.
doi:10.1097/HJH.0b013e3283613053
PMCID: PMC3766446  PMID: 23673348
hypertension; awareness; obesity; smoking; socioeconomic status
18.  Lifestyle modifications to prevent and control hypertension. 2. Recommendations on obesity and weight loss. Canadian Hypertension Society, Canadian Coalition for High Blood Pressure Prevention and Control, Laboratory Centre for Disease Control at Health Canada, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada 
OBJECTIVE: To provide updated, evidence-based recommendations concerning the effects of weight loss and maintenance of healthy weight on the prevention and control of hypertension in otherwise healthy adults (except pregnant women). OPTIONS: The main options are to attain and maintain a healthy body weight (body mass index [BMI] 20-25 kg/m2) or not to do so. For those at risk for hypertension, weight loss and maintenance of healthy weight may prevent the condition. For those who have hypertension, weight loss and maintenance of healthy weight may reduce or obviate the need for antihypertensive medications. OUTCOMES: The health outcome considered was change in blood pressure. Because of insufficient evidence, no economic outcomes were considered. EVIDENCE: A MEDLINE search was conducted for the years 1992-1996 with the terms hypertension and obesity in combination and antihypertensive therapy and obesity in combination. Other relevant evidence was obtained from the reference lists of the articles identified, from the personal files of the authors and through contacts with experts. The articles were reviewed, classified according to study design and graded according to level of evidence. VALUES: A high value was placed on the avoidance of cardiovascular morbidity and premature death caused by untreated hypertension. BENEFITS, HARMS AND COSTS: Weight loss and the maintenance of healthy body weight reduces the blood pressure of both hypertensive and normotensive people. The indirect benefits of a health body weight are well known. The negative effects of weight loss are primarily the frustrations associated with attaining and maintaining a healthy weight. The costs associated with weight loss programs were not measured in the studies reviewed. RECOMMENDATIONS: (1) It is recommended that health care professionals determine weight (in kilograms), height (in metres) and BMI for all adults. (2) To reduce blood pressure in the population at large, it is recommended that Canadians attain and maintain a healthy BMI (20-25). (3) All overweight hypertensive patients (BMI greater than 25) should be advised to reduce their weight. VALIDATION: These recommendations are similar to those of the World Hypertension League, the National High Blood Pressure Education Program Working Group on Primary Prevention of Hypertension, the Canadian Hypertension Society and the Canadian Coalition for High Blood Pressure Prevention and Control. They have not been clinically tested. SPONSORS: The Canadian Hypertension Society, the Canadian Coalition for High Blood Pressure Prevention and Control, the Laboratory Centre for Disease Control at Health Canada, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
PMCID: PMC1230334  PMID: 10333848
19.  Common variants of the beta and gamma subunits of the epithelial sodium channel and their relation to plasma renin and aldosterone levels in essential hypertension 
Background
Rare mutations of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) result in the monogenic hypertension form of Liddle's syndrome. We decided to screen for common variants in the ENaC βand γ subunits in patients with essential hypertension and to relate their occurrence to the activity of circulating renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.
Methods
Initially, DNA samples from 27 patients with low renin/low aldosterone hypertension were examined. The DNA variants were subsequently screened for in 347 patients with treatment-resistant hypertension, 175 male subjects with documented long-lasting normotension and 301 healthy Plasma renin and aldosterone levels were measured under baseline conditions and during postural and captopril challenge tests.
Results
Two commonly occurring βENaC variants (G589S and a novel intronic i12-17CT substitution) and one novel γENaC variant (V546I) were detected. One of these variants occurred in a heterozygous form in 32 patients, a prevalence (9.2%) significantly higher than that in normotensive males (2.9%, p = 0.007) and blood donors (3.0%, p = 0.001). βENaC i12-17CT was significantly more prevalent in the hypertension group than in the two control groups combined (4.6% vs. 1.1%, p = 0.001). When expressed in Xenopus oocytes, neither of the two ENaC amino acid-changing variants showed a significant difference in activity compared with ENaC wild-type. No direct evidence for a mRNA splicing defect could be obtained for the βENaC intronic variant. The ratio of daily urinary potassium excretion to upright and mean (of supine and upright values) plasma renin activity was higher in variant allele carriers than in non-carriers (p = 0.034 and p = 0.048).
Conclusions
At least 9% of Finnish patients with hypertension admitted to a specialized center carry genetic variants of β and γENaC, a three times higher prevalence than in the normotensive individuals or in random healthy controls. Patients with the variant alleles showed an increased urinary potassium excretion rate in relation to their renin levels.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-6-4
PMCID: PMC547905  PMID: 15661075
20.  Serum uric acid level in newly diagnosed essential hypertension in a Nepalese population: A hospital based cross sectional study 
Objective
To develop the missing link between hyperuricemia and hypertension.
Methods
The study was conducted in Department of Biochemistry in collaboration with Nephrology Unit of Internal Medicine Department. Hypertension was defined according to blood pressure readings by definitions of the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee. Totally 205 newly diagnosed and untreated essential hypertensive cases and age-sex matched normotensive controls were enrolled in the study. The potential confounding factors of hyperuricemia and hypertension in both cases and controls were controlled. Uric acid levels in all participants were analyzed.
Results
Renal function between newly diagnosed hypertensive cases and normotensive healthy controls were adjusted. The mean serum uric acid observed in newly diagnosed hypertensive cases and in normotensive healthy controls were (290.05±87.05) µmol/L and (245.24±99.38) µmol/L respectively. A total of 59 (28.8%) participants of cases and 28 (13.7%) participants of controls had hyperuricemia (odds ratio 2.555 (95% CI: 1.549-4.213), P<0.001).
Conclusions
The mean serum uric acid levels and number of hyperuricemic subjects were found to be significantly higher in cases when compared to controls.
doi:10.1016/S2221-1691(14)60209-4
PMCID: PMC3819497  PMID: 24144132
Newly diagnosed hypertension; Serum uric acid; Hyperuricemia; Joint National Committee
21.  Preeclampsia as a Risk Factor for Diabetes: A Population-Based Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(4):e1001425.
Denice Feig and colleagues assess the association between gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, and preeclampsia and the development of future diabetes in a database analysis of pregnant women in Ontario, Canada.
Background
Women with preeclampsia (PEC) and gestational hypertension (GH) exhibit insulin resistance during pregnancy, independent of obesity and glucose intolerance. Our aim was to determine whether women with PEC or GH during pregnancy have an increased risk of developing diabetes after pregnancy, and whether the presence of PEC/GH in addition to gestational diabetes (GDM) increases the risk of future (postpartum) diabetes.
Methods and Findings
We performed a population-based, retrospective cohort study for 1,010,068 pregnant women who delivered in Ontario, Canada between April 1994 and March 2008. Women were categorized as having PEC alone (n = 22,933), GH alone (n = 27,605), GDM alone (n = 30,852), GDM+PEC (n = 1,476), GDM+GH (n = 2,100), or none of these conditions (n = 925,102). Our main outcome was a new diagnosis of diabetes postpartum in the following years, up until March 2011, based on new records in the Ontario Diabetes Database. The incidence rate of diabetes per 1,000 person-years was 6.47 for women with PEC and 5.26 for GH compared with 2.81 in women with neither of these conditions. In the multivariable analysis, both PEC alone (hazard ratio [HR] = 2.08; 95% CI 1.97–2.19) and GH alone (HR = 1.95; 95% CI 1.83–2.07) were risk factors for subsequent diabetes. Women with GDM alone were at elevated risk of developing diabetes postpartum (HR = 12.77; 95% CI 12.44–13.10); however, the co–presence of PEC or GH in addition to GDM further elevated this risk (HR = 15.75; 95% CI 14.52–17.07, and HR = 18.49; 95% CI 17.12–19.96, respectively). Data on obesity were not available.
Conclusions
Women with PEC/GH have a 2-fold increased risk of developing diabetes when followed up to 16.5 years after pregnancy, even in the absence of GDM. The presence of PEC/GH in the setting of GDM also raised the risk of diabetes significantly beyond that seen with GDM alone. A history of PEC/GH during pregnancy should alert clinicians to the need for preventative counseling and more vigilant screening for diabetes.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar), known as type 1 diabetes, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces—type 2 diabetes. Raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious complications and even death. Worryingly, the global burden of type 2 diabetes is increasing worldwide, and the World Health Organization estimates that 90% of the 347 million people with diabetes currently have type 2 diabetes. Previous studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed in high risk groups by a range of lifestyle and treatment interventions and so it is important to identify potential high risk groups to screen for type 2 diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Gestational diabetes (a form of diabetes that is related to pregnancy) is a major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. Therefore, diabetes prevention strategies should target women with gestational diabetes. Likewise, other common disorders of pregnancy possibly associated with insulin resistance, such as preeclampsia (a condition in which affected women have high blood pressure, fluid retention, and protein in their urine) and gestational hypertension (high blood pressure associated with pregnancy), may lead to the future development of type 2 diabetes. So women with these conditions may also benefit from diabetes prevention strategies. Therefore, in this large database study from Ontario, Canada, the researchers examined whether pregnant women with preeclampsia or gestational hypertension had an increased risk of developing diabetes in the years following pregnancy even if they did not have gestational diabetes.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used a comprehensive Canadian health database to identify all women age 15 to 50 years of age who delivered in an Ontario hospital between April 1994 and March 2008. They then identified women who had preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, or gestational diabetes through hospital records and outpatient information. The researchers then used records from the Ontario Diabetes Database to record whether these women went on to develop diabetes in the period from 180 days after delivery until March 2011.
Using these methods, the researchers identified 1,010,068 pregnant women suitable for analysis, of whom 22,933 had only preeclampsia, 27,605 had only gestational hypertension, and 30,852 had only gestational diabetes: 2,100 women had both gestational diabetes and gestational hypertension and 1,476 women had gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Overall, 35,077 women developed diabetes (3.5%) in the follow-up period (median of 8.5 years) at a median age of 37 years. In a modeling analysis, the researchers found that women with gestational diabetes had a 15-fold increased rate of developing diabetes compared to women without gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, and preeclampsia, while women with gestational diabetes plus either preeclampsia or gestational hypertension had a 20- to 21-fold increased rate. These results were slightly reduced after adjusting for age, income quintile, hypertension prior to pregnancy, and co-morbidity, giving a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.95 for gestational hypertension alone, an HR of 2.08 for preeclampsia alone, an HR of 12.77 for gestational diabetes alone, an HR of 18.49 for gestational diabetes plus gestational hypertension and finally, an HR of 15.75 for gestational diabetes plus preeclampsia.
These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that both preeclampsia and gestational hypertension without gestational diabetes are associated with a 2-fold increased incidence of diabetes in the years following pregnancy after controlling for several important variables. When combined with gestational diabetes, these conditions were associated with a further elevation in diabetes incidence additional to the 13-fold increased incidence resulting from gestational diabetes alone. A limitation of this study was the lack of information on obesity and body mass index, factors which are also associated with increased risk of developing diabetes. Nevertheless, these findings highlight a possible new risk factor for diabetes, and suggest that clinicians should be aware of the need for preventative measures and vigilant screening for diabetes in women with a history of preeclampsia or gestational hypertension.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001425.
NHS Choices has information about preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and gestational hypertension
Living with diabetes is a useful resource for patients with diabetes
The Preeclampsia Foundation has more information about preeclampsia
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001425
PMCID: PMC3627640  PMID: 23610560
22.  Assessment of antioxidant enzyme activities in erythrocytes of pre-hypertensive and hypertensive women 
BACKGROUND:
Few studies that have investigated hypertension have considered a state of oxidative stress that can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis and other hypertension induced organ damage. The aim of this study was to investigate whether pre-hypertension and hypertension status is associated with activities of erythrocyte antioxidant enzymes in a random sample of cardiovascular disease-free women.
METHODS:
In this case-control study, 53 pre-hypertensive women, 32 hypertensive women and 75 healthy controls were included. General information was gathered using questionnaires and face-to-face interviews. Blood pressure and anthropometric measurements were measured for each subject. Venous blood samples were drawn from subjects and plasma was separated. Activities of erythrocyte antioxidant enzymes were also evaluated by measuring activities of copper zinc-superoxide dismutase (CuZn-SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and catalase (CAT) in selected subjects.
RESULTS:
Fifty-three (33.1%) and 32 (20%) participants were pre-hypertensive and hypertensive, respectively. The hypertensive and pre-hypertensive women had lower CuZn-SOD (p < 0.001) and GPX (p < 0.01) activities compared to normotensives. Furthermore, hypertensive women had lower CAT activity compared to pre-hypertensive and normotensive women (p < 0.001). Moreover, significant differences were also observed between hypertensive and pre-hypertensive women in erythrocyte CAT activity (p < 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS:
The present findings show that activities of erythrocyte antioxidant enzymes decrease in pre-hypertensive and hypertensive women, which may eventually lead to atherosclerosis and other high blood pressure related health problems.
PMCID: PMC3082824  PMID: 21526095
High Blood Pressure; Antioxidants; Biocatalysts; Woman
23.  The Role of the Endogenous Antioxidant Enzymes and Malondialdehyde in Essential Hypertension 
Context: Oxidative Stress is caused by an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species and a biological system’s ability to readily detoxify the reactive intermediates.
Aims: 1. To compare the levels of Malondialdehyde (MDA), in hypertensive and normotensive subjects.
2. To compare the levels of the antioxidant enzymes, namely, Catalase, Glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) in hypertensive and normotensive subjects.
3. To determine the correlation between the MDA levels and the mean arterial pressure (MAP) among hypertensive subjects.
4. To determine the correlation between the antioxidant enzyme levels and MAP among the hypertensive subjects and to evaluate the effect of 6 months of antihypertensive therapy with a tight blood pressure control on the MDA levels.
Materials and Methods : In this cross sectional study, 25 normotensive and 40 hypertensive subjects were recruited. The hypertensive subjects were further subdivided into three subgroups: Prehypertensives, Stage I hypertensives and Stage II hypertensives. All the subjects underwent a blood pressure measurement and the markers of oxidative stress in their sera were estimated. The subjects of Stage I hypertension and Stage II hypertension were given antihypertensive treatment for 6 months and their blood pressures were tightly regulated and brought to the normotensive state. After 6 months, the estimations of the markers of oxidative stress were done again.
Results: The MDA levels were significantly increased in the stage I and stage II hypertension groups as compared to those of the control group (p<0.05). The antioxidant enzymes (SOD, Catalase and GPX) were significantly decreased (p<0.05) in the prehypertension and in the stage I and stage II hypertension groups as compared to those in the control group. There was a significant increase in the levels of the antioxidant enzymes after 6 months of a tight regulation and bringing of the blood pressure to the normotensive state by giving antihypertensive therapy.
Conclusion: On comparison of the present study with other studies in which the use of antioxidants were found to be ineffective in the blood pressure reduction, it can be concluded that oxidative stress is an effect rather than a cause of essential hypertension.
doi:10.7860/JCDR/2013/5829.3091
PMCID: PMC3708256  PMID: 23905086
Essential hypertension; Oxidative Stress; Catalase; Glutathione peroxidase; Superoxide Dismutase Antihypertensive therapy
24.  Good knowledge about hypertension is linked to better control of hypertension; A multicentre cross sectional study in Karachi, Pakistan 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:579.
Background
According to the National Health survey only 3% of the population has controlled hypertension. This study was designed to elucidate the knowledge about hypertension in hypertensive patients at three tertiary care centers in Karachi. Secondly we sought to compare the knowledge of those with uncontrolled hypertension and controlled hypertension.
Methods
It was a cross-sectional study conducted at The Aga Khan University hospital (AKUH), Ziauddin Hospital (ZH) and Civil hospital, Karachi (CHK. All diagnosed Hypertensive patients (both inpatients and outpatients) coming to a tertiary care hospital in Pakistan aged > 18 years were included. Patients were categorized into 2 groups: controlled and uncontrolled hypertension based on their initial BP readings on presentation Uncontrolled Hypertension was defined as average BP ≥ 140/90 mm Hg in patients on treatment. Controlled Hypertension (HTN) was defined as average BP <140/90 mm Hg in patients on treatment. Standardized methods were used to record BP in the sitting position. Knowledge was recorded as a15 item question. Primary outcome was knowledge about hypertension.
Results
A total of 650 participants were approached and consented 447 were found eligible. 284(63.5%) were from Aga Khan University, 101(22.6) from Dow University of health sciences and 62(13.9) were from Ziauddin University. Mean (SD) age of participants was 57.7(12) years, 50.1(224) were men. Controlled hypertension was present in 323(72.3) and uncontrolled hypertension was present in 124(27.4). The total mean (SD) Knowledge score was 20.97(4.93) out of a maximum score of 38. On comparison of questions related to knowledge between uncontrolled and controlled hypertension, there was statistically significant different in; meaning of hypertension (p <0.001), target SBP(p0.001), target DBP(p 0.001), importance of SBP versus DBP, improvement of health with lowering of blood pressure (p 0.002), high blood pressure being asymptomatic (p <0.001), changing lifestyle improves blood pressure(p 0.003),hypertension being a lifelong disease (<0.001), lifelong treatment with antihypertensives(<0.001) and high blood pressure being part of aging(<0.001). On comparison of knowledge as a composite score between uncontrolled and controlled hypertensive; Mean (SD) score was 21.85(4.74) v18.67 (4.70) (p value: < 0.001). On multivariate analysis; gender β (95% CI) 1.67(0.75, 2.59) p <0.001, uncontrolled blood pressure; -2.70(−3.76,-1.67) p <0.001, Sindhi ethnicity; -1.79(−3.25,-3.27) p 0.01 and pukhtoon ethnicity; -2.72(−4.13,-1.32) p <0.001 were significantly associated with knowledge score.
Conclusion
Knowledge about hypertension in hypertensive patients is not adequate and is alarmingly poor in patients with uncontrolled hypertension. More emphasis needs to be made on target blood pressure and need for taking antihypertensives for life to patients by physicians.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-579
PMCID: PMC3534478  PMID: 23095492
Hypertension; Knowledge; Uncontrolled hypertension
25.  Urinary 8-OHdG: A marker of oxidative stress to DNA and total antioxidant status in essential hypertension with South Indian population 
Establishment of non-invasive urinary biomarker for the early prediction of essential hypertension (EH) is important. We evaluated whether estimation of urinary DNA, serves as a marker to predict the extent of cellular oxidative stress in essential hypertension. A total of 180 South Indian subjects aged 30–65 were recruited for the study. Of these hypertensive subjects investigated, 30 were newly diagnosed and were not on any antihypertensive drugs, but had systolic blood pressure 140–160 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure 95–100 mmHg and 75 hypertensive patients who already on drug therapy for one year and 75 were South Indian normotensive healthy controls with blood pressure ≤ 120/80 mmHg. The 8-OHdG level in urine was significantly increased in hypertensive patients (both newly diagnosed and who already on drug therapy) compared with control group. The significant increase in 8-OHdG was observed in newly diagnosed hypertensive patients compared with hypertensive patients who already on drug therapy. There was a significant decrease in serum TAS value in essential hypertensive group when compared to control group. The urinary 8-OHdG was independently correlated with serum TAS. Decreased TAS levels, which reflect to increased oxidative stress, may be the reason of increased urinary 8-OHdG in South Indian hypertensive patients. Our preliminary data suggest that the competitive ELISA for 8-OHdG appears to be a simple method for quantifying the extent of oxidative stress.
doi:10.1007/s12291-010-0024-z
PMCID: PMC3453105  PMID: 23105898
Total Antioxidant Status; Urinary 8-OHdG; Essential Hypertension; Oxidative Stress

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