Fasting blood glucose is independently associated with resting and exercise blood pressures and development of elevated blood pressure

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Abstract

Objective

To assess whether fasting blood glucose is independently related to blood pressure at rest and during exercise, and to development of elevated blood pressure.

Design

Cross-sectional and prospective cohort study of 2014 apparently healthy middle-aged men.

Methods

The baseline survey included carefully standardized blood pressure measurements at rest and during exercise testing, an intravenous glucose tolerance test and a panel of fasting blood tests, including fasting blood glucose. Results from 7-years follow-up provided data on development of elevated blood pressure.

Results

Strong associations were found between quartiles of fasting blood glucose and baseline resting and/or exercise levels of blood pressure, and also development of elevated blood pressure over 7 years. Physical fitness, calculated from an exercise test, had a strong modulating effect on blood pressure at all levels of fasting blood glucose. In multivariate models – after adjusting for intravenous glucose tolerance, physical fitness, age, body mass index, triglycerides and cholesterol – fasting blood glucose was strongly associated with blood pressure at rest (coefficient = 2.83, P = 0.0004) and during exercise (coefficient = 6.57, P< 0.0001), and further to development of treated hypertension and/or elevated blood pressure [odds ratio (OR), 1.17; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.05–1.31].

Conclusion

In healthy non-diabetic and non-hypertensive men, strong associations were found between fasting blood glucose and blood pressure at rest and during exercise and to development of elevated blood pressure after 7-years follow-up. Fasting glucose metabolism deserves scrutiny when studying the pathogenesis of hypertension.

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