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Sympathetic nervous system, diabetes, and hypertension

Sympathetic nervous system, diabetes, and hypertension

Clinical & Experimental Hypertension 23(1-2): 45-55, January-February

Hypertension is twice as frequent in diabetic patients than in the general population. Its prevalence is higher in Type 2 than in Type 1 diabetes: in the former, the onset of hypertension often precedes the diagnosis of diabetes, whereas, in the latter it is strictly related to the presence of nephropathy. Sympathetic nerve overactivity is crucial in the pathogenesis of hypertension in diabetes. It can be related to the activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone (RAA) system in Type 1 diabetic patients with chronic renal failure, or to a condition of insulin resistance/hyperinsulinemia in Type 2 patients with the metabolic syndrome. In patients with early autonomic neuropathy, vagal impairment can lead to a relative predominance of sympathetic activity in the sympatho-vagal balance. In these patients, the onset of hypertension is frequently preceded by reduced nocturnal dipping. Sympathetic overactivity stimulates RAA activity, promotes sodium reabsorption, and increases heart rate, stroke volume and peripheral vascular resistance, thus inducing hypertension and increasing cardiovascular risk. A number of drugs acting either directly or indirectly on sympathetic activity are available for the treatment of hypertension in diabetic subjects. Opinions on the potential advantages of the metabolic profile of some of these drugs are as yet conflicting.

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Accession: 011435522

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 11270588

DOI: 10.1081/ceh-100001196

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