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March 24/31, 2004

Etiology of the Metabolic Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2004;291(12):1443. doi:10.1001/jama.291.12.1443-c

To the Editor: Dr Grundy1 discussed evidence that C-reactive protein at baseline is independently associated with an increased risk of hypertension in women. As he indicated, the mechanism remains uncertain. Recent studies2,3 suggest that women with elevated C-reactive protein levels may be at risk for extensive periodontal disease at baseline and subsequent tooth loss during follow-up. A recent population-based study4 found that the intake of some nutrient-rich foods correlated with significantly lower serum levels of beta carotene, folate, and vitamin C in denture-wearers. Antioxidant vitamins are important in the underlying cause of hypertension.5 Dietary pattern change during follow-up may be one mechanism that links C-reative protein level with the risk of developing hypertension.