Hypertensive subjects with type-2 diabetes, the sympathetic nervous system, and treatment implications

Andrew J.S. Coats, John M. Cruickshank

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    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Central obesity is closely linked to hypertension and type-2 diabetes (DM2) in young/middle-age. In the elderly, systolic hypertension is a reflection of aging/stiff arteries. Diastolic (± systolic) hypertension in young/middle-age is accompanied by increased sympathetic nerve activity, particularly in the presence of the metabolic syndrome or DM2. High beta-receptor density (Bmax) and cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels in human lymphoctes, independent of blood pressure, are associated with a high risk of myocardial infarction (not stroke-risk, which is dependent on blood pressure). This has treatment implications in the young/middle-aged hypertensive subject. Antihypertensive agents that increase sympathetic nerve activity e.g. dihydropyridine calcium blockers, angiotensin receptor blockers, and thiazide-type diuretics, do not reduce (and may increase) the risk of myocardial infarction. Beta-1 blockade, effective in reversing and stabilising coronary atheromataous plaque, and with possible anti-tumor properties, is superior to ACE-inhibition, and is the treatment of choice in young/middle-aged hypertension with DM2.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)702-709
    Number of pages8
    JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2014


    • beta-blockers
    • Hypertension
    • Sympathetic nervous system
    • Type-2 diabetes

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