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December 10, 2003

Inflammation, Hypertension, and the Metabolic Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Clinical Nutrition, Internal Medicine, and the Center for Human Nutrition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.

JAMA. 2003;290(22):3000-3002. doi:10.1001/jama.290.22.3000

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.

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