Obese patients (average body mass index [BMI] of 32.5) with hypertension are less likely than lean people (average BMI of 24.3) with the condition to die prematurely or have heart attacks or strokes—and genetics may be responsible, suggest the authors of a study published in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Lead investigator Michael A. Weber, MD, of the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, said his group found that overweight people have a reduced response of adrenaline and other potentially dangerous stress hormones during physical exercise, while in thin people with hypertension, the involvement of hormones like adrenaline and renin appears to increase the size of the heart and cause stiffening of the arteries.
Mitka M. Hypertension Differs. JAMA. 2001;285(8):1008. doi:10.1001/jama.285.8.1008-JQU10001-3-1