Erythrocyte volume and blood pressure in a cross-sectional population-based study

Pasquale Strazzullo, Francesco P. Cappucc Î O, Licia Lacoviello, Marilena Cipollaro, Vincenzo Varriale, Nicola Giorgione, Eduardo Farinaro, Mario Mancini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A reduction in mean erythrocyte volume has been reported in some strains of genetically hypertensive rat, and more recently it has been suggested that a similar alteration might be found in human essential hypertension. The relationship between erythrocyte volume and blood pressure was therefore studied in a random sample of an untreated male working population (n = 317; age 45.1 ± 6.4 years, mean ± s.d.). Neither systolic nor diastolic blood pressures were found to be related to erythrocyte volume (r = 0.022 and r = −0.014, respectively); in fact, erythrocyte volume was not different across quintiles of blood pressure. Smokers (n = 171) had lower blood pressure and a greater erythrocyte volume than non-smokers or ex-smokers (n = 144; 91.6 ± 4.7 versus 88.2 ± 5.5 fl; P <0.001), and heavy drinkers (>110g ethanol/day) had higher blood pressure and a greater erythrocyte volume compared with the rest of the study population (P <0.01). However, after adjustment of erythrocyte volume for these two potentially confounding factors, again no statistical association was found with blood pressure. The present study, therefore, does not support the hypothesis of a negative association between erythrocyte volume and blood pressure, whereas it confirms that the smoking habit and habitual alcohol intake are strong determinants of erythrocyte volume.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-183
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1990


  • Alcohol
  • Blood pressure
  • Erythrocyte volume
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology


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