Results of a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology are lending weight to the widely believed hypothesis that hypertension is an independent risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The study, an analysis of electronic health records and a meta-analysis, consisted of 4.1 million adults without diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The objective was to evaluate the association between usual blood pressure and risk of diabetes.
Each 20 mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure and 10 mmHg increase in diastolic blood pressure was associated with a 58% and a 52% higher risk of new-onset diabetes. The strength of that association per 20 mmHg higher SBP decreased with age and increasing body mass index. According to the study authors, “Elevated blood pressure is associated with chronic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction, both of which appear to be mediators of diabetes risk. There is, therefore, a biological rationale to suspect that elevated blood pressure may cause new-onset diabetes.”