Author Affiliations: Departments of Clinical Nutrition, Internal Medicine, and the Center for Human Nutrition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.
In this issue of THE JOURNAL, Sesso and colleagues1 report
a positive relationship between increased serum levels of C-reactive protein
and the risk for development of incident hypertension in participants of the
Women's Health Study. A total of 20 525 women were followed up prospectively
for a median of 7.8 years, during which time approximately one fourth of the
women acquired elevated blood pressure; those with higher levels of C-reactive
protein were more likely to develop hypertension. C-reactive protein levels
in the upper ranges of the normal distribution (high-normal levels of C-reactive
protein) are widely believed to reflect a state of low-grade chronic inflammation;
therefore, the association between higher C-reactive protein levels and new-onset
hypertension led Sesso et al1 to suggest that
hypertension may be an inflammatory disease.
Grundy SM. Inflammation, Hypertension, and the Metabolic Syndrome. JAMA. 2003;290(22):3000-3002. doi:10.1001/jama.290.22.3000