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High Cholesterol Linked to High Blood Pressure in Men

Plasma lipids may help to identify men at risk of developing hypertension

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Men who have elevated total cholesterol are at greater risk of developing hypertension than those with low cholesterol levels, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in Hypertension.

Ruben O. Halperin, M.D., of the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data from the Physicians' Health Study including 3,110 men who did not have hypertension, cardiovascular disease or cancer. Using baseline blood samples they measured total cholesterol (TC) and HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) and also calculated non-HDL-C and the TC/HDL-C ratio.

The mean follow-up was 14.1 years, and in that time 1,019 men developed hypertension. Those men in the highest quintile of TC, non-HDL-C and TC/HDL-C ratio had a 23%, 39% and 54% risk, respectively, of developing hypertension, compared with their counterparts from the lowest quintile.

"When we notice an elevation of lipids in the absence of hypertension, it may indicate those patients are at greater risk of developing hypertension later on," said co-author Howard D. Sesso, Sc.D., MPH, in a statement. "From an interventional standpoint, those with poor lipid profiles may represent an opportunity to address other risk factors for hypertension and cardiovascular disease."

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