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To investigate the association of blood pressure with the other major cardiovascular risk factors in a large population of back-cross to Lyon hypertensive (LH) rats.Mean arterial pressure was recorded in male freely moving Lyon normotensive (LN), LH, F1 and back-cross to LH rats aged 30 weeks. Plasma cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin, creatinine, urea, fibrinogen and haematocrit levels, and the insulin:glucose ratio were measured in 31-week-old rats and 24 h albuminuria in 6-week-old rats.Adult LH rats exhibited a significant increase in plasma lipids, insulin, fibrinogen, creatinine, urea and haematocrit levels compared with LN rats. In young LH rats, at an age at which blood pressure is slightly increased, albuminuria was increased to a greater extent than expected from their blood pressure levels. In the adult back-cross to LH rats, only the plasma cholesterol level was associated with blood pressure. Moreover, the plasma cholesterol level was related to fibrinogen and haematocrit levels. Finally, in the same rats, albuminuria developed early in life was positively related to hypercholinesterolaemia measured later in life.Plasma cholesterol, fibrinogen, haematocrit levels and early albuminuria could act synergistically in the enhancement or the development, or both, of vascular and kidney damage in the LH rat. Most interestingly, the association between plasma cholesterol level and blood pressure indicates that, as in essential hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia is a major phenotype associated with hypertension in the LH rat.