The aim of the study is to investigate serum lipoproteins abnormalities including low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particle size, and their relationship with other cardiovascular risk factors in men with essential hypertension. Plasma glucose and serum insulin levels during oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), serum lipoprotein(a), apolipoprotein (apo) A-I, apo B, cholesterol and triglycerides in serum and in lipoproteins, and LDL particle diameter were measured in thirty-eight consecutive newly-diagnosed non-diabetic untreated hypertensive men and 38 healthy male controls. Plasma glucose at baseline, 60 and 120 min during OGTT was significantly higher in patients than controls whereas serum insulin levels did not differ between patients and controls. Serum apo B and triglycerides were significantly raised in patients compared with controls (1.08 ± 0.17 g/L [mean ± SD] vs 0.97 ± 0.22 g/L, p < 0.05, and 1.56 ± 0.90 mmol/L vs 1.15 ± 0.57 mmol/L, p < 0.05, respectively). Very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol were increased in patients compared with controls (0.89 ± 0.79 mmol/L and 0.54 ± 0.35 mmol/L, p < 0.05, and 4.08 ± 0.85 mmol/L and 3.60 ± 0.92 mmol/L, p < 0.05, respectively) whereas high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol was lower in patients compared with controls 0.95 ± 0.22 mmol/L and 1.07 ± 0.20 mmol/L, p < 0.05). Adjustment for body mass index, abdominal/hip perimeter ratio and area under the glucose curve did not attenuate the relationship between hypertension and VLDL-triglycerides. Six patients and two controls had a mean LDL diameter ≤ 25.5 nm and in the former serum triglycerides ranged from 1.86 mmol/L to 2.37 mmol/L. Mean LDL particle diameter in both patients and controls showed an inverse relationship with log-transformed serum triglycerides (r = - 0.51, p < 0.001 and r = - 0.47, p < 0.005, respectively). Among patients, those with serum triglycerides ± 1.58 mmol/L had a lesser mean LDL diameter than those with triglycerides above this threshold (25.78 ± 0.47 nm vs 26.30 ± 0.35 nm, p < 0.001). Higher plasma glucose, serum apo B and LDL-cholesterol as well as the decrease in serum HDL-cholesterol in patients with hypertension are consistent with high coronary heart disease risk. Not only mild hypertriglyceridemia but also high-normal serum triglycerides in themselves or as a surrogate of a predominance of small dense LDL particles in plasma convey an additional risk for cardiovascular disease in hypertensive patients even though routine plasma lipids are within or near normal range.
- Cardiovascular risk factors
- Glucose tolerance
- Low-density lipoprotein diameter