Hypertension in patients with diabetes mellitus

Jay S. Skyler, Jennifer B. Marks, Neil Schneiderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Diabetes mellitus and hypertension each confer increased cardiovascular risk. That risk is much greater when the diseases coexist and is further magnified by their frequent association with dyslipidemia and central obesity. Insulin resistance appears to be an important common component to these four entities, whether or not the relationship is truly cause and effect. Increased renal tubule absorption of sodium and increased sympathetic nervous system stimulation from insulin have been said to be the mechanisms by which elevated levels of insulin cause hypertension. However, animal experiments suggest that these are short-term effects only and that long-term insulin may actually increase peripheral blood flow and reduce blood pressure. Experiments in humans suggest that the insulin resistant state in obese patients and type II diabetics is associated with a decrease of the usual vasodilatory effect of insulin. Antihypertensive drugs have differing effects on insulin resistance. Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, α-adrenergic blockers, and dihydropyridines appear to improve insulin sensitivity. Other calcium channel blockers appear to be neutral, as is furosemide. Thiazide diuretics, spironolactone, and β-adrenergic blockers impair insulin sensitivity. The drugs that increase insulin sensitivity also tend to improve dyslipidemia or remain lipid neutral. In contrast, those drugs that tend to impair insulin sensitivity also tend to worsen dyslipidemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100S-105S
JournalAmerican journal of hypertension
Issue number12 PART 2
StatePublished - Dec 1995


  • cardiovascular risk
  • diabetes mellitus
  • dyslipidemia
  • hypertension
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Syndrome X

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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