Diabetes in treated hypertension is common and carries a high cardiovascular risk: results from a 28-year follow-up.

J Hypertens. 2007 Jun;25(6):1311-1317.
Almgren T, Wilhelmsen L, Samuelsson O, Himmelmann A, Rosengren A, Andersson OK.
aDepartments of Internal Medicine bNephrology cClinical Pharmacology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Goteborg dDepartment of Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Ostra, Goteborg eSection of Preventive Cardiology, the Cardiovascular Unit, Goteborg University, Goteborg, Sweden.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to analyse predictive factors for development of type 2 diabetes during life-long therapy for hypertension and the alleged additional cardiovascular risk this constitutes.

METHODS: The study group (n = 754) comprised the hypertensive subgroup of a randomized population sample of 7500 men, aged 47-54 years, screened for cardiovascular risk factors and followed for 25-28 years. The patients were treated with thiazide diuretics and beta-adrenergic blocking drugs with the addition of hydralazin during the first decade. Calcium antagonists were substituted for hydralazin and, if needed, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors were added when these drugs became available.

RESULTS: A total of 148 (20.4%) treated hypertensive patients developed diabetes during 25 years, and in multivariate Cox regression analysis body mass index, serum triglycerides and treatment with beta-blockers were positively related with this complication. New-onset diabetes implied a significantly increased risk for stroke [hazard ratio (HR): 1.67; 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.1-2.6; P < 0.05], myocardial infarction (OR: 1.66; 95% CI: 1.1-2.5; P < 0.05) and mortality (OR: 1.42; 95% CI: 1.1-1.9; P < 0.05). The greatest risk for stroke was new-onset diabetes, followed by smoking (OR: 1.46; 95% CI: 1-2.2; P = 0.07) and the greatest risk for myocardial infarction was new-onset diabetes, followed by smoking (HR: 1.64; 95% CI: 1.1-2.4; P < 0.01). The greatest risk for mortality was smoking (HR: 1.73; 95% CI: 1.3-2.2; P < 0.005). Achieved systolic and diastolic blood pressure were not predictive of cardiovascular complications or death. The mean observation time from onset of diabetes mellitus to a first stroke was 9.1 years and to a first myocardial infarction 9.3 years.

CONCLUSION: Diabetes in treated hypertensive patients is alarmingly common and carries a high risk for cardiovascular complications and mortality.

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