Recent evidence suggests that metabolic changes that occur with antihypertensive agents may influence cardiovascular risk. Diuretic therapy is particularly appropriate for the salt-sensitive hypertensive patient. However, diuretic-induced electrolyte abnormalities may lead to ventricular arrhythmias, even in patients with uncomplicated essential hypertension. Antihypertensive drugs may change circulating lipoprotein levels, which may influence the development of atherosclerosis. Therefore, serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels should be monitored when antihypertensive drugs are administered that can cause hyperlipidemia. Weight reduction and diet therapy should be used because these may have a greater effect on reducing hyperlipidemia, though choice of antihypertensive agents is important. In addition, glucose tolerance may worsen with thiazide therapy, perhaps because newer evidence suggests that insulin resistance is common in essential hypertension. This glucose intolerance may be corrected with potassium repletion or substitution of bumetanide for thiazide. The calcium antagonists may be substituted for diuretic therapy, or other classes of antihypertensive drugs may be used with a reduced dose of diuretic drug if these metabolic changes persist. Thus, attention to metabolic changes may be as important as blood pressure reduction in treatment of the salt-sensitive hypertensive patient.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine