Plasma aldosterone is increased in class 2 and 3 obese essential hypertensive patients despite drug treatment

Riccardo Sarzani, Federico Guerra, Lucia Mancinelli, Alessia Buglioni, Eliana Franchi, Paolo Dess-Fulgheri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background The aim of this study was to evaluate whether body mass index (BMI) is independently correlated with plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC) in treated essential hypertensive patients, and whether the relationship between BMI and high blood pressure (BP) can be partially mediated by PAC despite renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system blockade.MethodsThis study used a cross-sectional design and included 295 consecutive essential hypertensive patients referred to our centre for uncontrolled BP despite stable antihypertensive treatment for at least 6 months. The main exclusion criteria were age 65 years; glomerular filtration rate 30 ml/min; and therapy with mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists, direct renin inhibitors, amiloride or oral contraceptives.Results Higher levels of obesity showed a significantly higher mean PAC with a steep nonlinear increase in patients with BMI 35 kg/m 2. Class 2 and 3 obese patients had a higher mean PAC than nonobese and class 1 obese patients, even in patients under stable treatment with either angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). In a stepwise multiple linear regression model, only log of plasma renin activity (PRA), mean blood pressure (MBP), and class 2 and 3 obesity showed an independent correlation with PAC. In the same model applied to patients treated with ACEIs or ARBs, only logPRA and class 2 and 3 obesity showed a direct correlation with PAC.ConclusionsIn treated essential hypertensive patients, a BMI 35 kg/m 2 is independently, albeit modestly, correlated with PAC. The correlation between BMI 35 kg/m 2 and PAC holds true even in ACEI/ARB-treated patients. Further study is required to determine whether the association of obesity with BP is mediated by PAC in hypertensive patients on stable therapy with ACEIs or ARBs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-826
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • aldosterone
  • angiotensin receptor blockers
  • angiotensinconverting enzyme inhibitors
  • antihypertensive therapy
  • blood pressure
  • essential hypertension
  • hypertension
  • obesity
  • renin-angiotensin system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Plasma aldosterone is increased in class 2 and 3 obese essential hypertensive patients despite drug treatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this