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February 8, 1993

Insulin, Insulin Resistance, and Blood Pressure Elevation

Arch Intern Med. 1993;153(3):290-291. doi:10.1001/archinte.1993.00410030010002

THE ASSOCIATION between higher plasma insulin and higher blood pressure levels is now recognized as a fundamental relationship. Higher plasma insulin values have been described in lean patients with hypertension,1,2 in borderline hypertension,3 in subjects with only an office "white coat" blood pressure elevation,4 and even in normotensive individuals with higher blood pressure readings.5

The report by Jiang et al6 in this issue of the Archives shows that this relationship has its roots in early life; a positive correlation between blood pressure and plasma insulin values is already present at ages 5 to 8 years and 9 to 12 years, and the association is very strong again at age 18 to 26 years. The fact that the correlation looses its strength during puberty does not detract from the importance of the relationship; during that period, the rapid rate of growth coupled with the steep increase