Hypertension is known to be strongly associated with multiple metabolic abnormalities. A recent population survey carried out in Italy (the Gubbio study) involving 5,376 individuals showed that, up to the age of 64 years, hypertensive men were more markedly overweight (body mass index ≥30) than normotensive men, whereas in women the prevalence of obesity was higher in hypertensive women at all ages. The prevalence of marked hypercholesterolemia (≥250 mg/dL) was uniformly higher in hypertensive compared with normotensive men except in the oldest age group; it was also higher in hypertensive women in the age 45-74 years group. Post-absorptive hyperglycemia and hyperuricemia were also more prevalent in hypertensive men and women, especially in the older age groups. Furthermore, the Tecumseh Blood Pressure Study indicated that not only patients with "sustained" hypertension but also those with so-called "white-coat" hypertension are, as a group, overweight and have elevated levels of cholesterol, insulin, and triglycerides and decreased levels of high-density lipoprotein. The multiple metabolic abnormalities clustered in hypertensives are important in relation to prognosis and therapy. The most recent World Health Organization/International Society of Hypertension guidelines for management of mild hypertension give considerable attention to the global assessment of cardiovascular risk in patients with hypertension and stress that, among individuals with mild hypertension, the risk of serious cardiovascular disease is also determined by a variety of risk factors other than blood pressure. The higher the absolute risk, the greater is the absolute benefit brought about by lowering blood pressure and correcting other risk factors, such as dyslipidemia.
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