To test the hypothesis that in obesity hypertension is associated with more pronounced hyperinsulinaemia and insulin resistance we compared plasma insulin levels and insulin sensitivity in a group of 6 obese subjects with untreated hypertension and in a group of 6 obese subjects with normal blood pressure. The two groups were similar for sex, age, body mass index and glucose tolerance. Six nonobese subjects served as controls. The study consisted of a 2-h hyperglycaemic clamp (steady-state plasma glucose = 11 mmol/l) and a 15-min insulin tolerance test (0.1 U/kg body wt). During hyperglycaemic clamp, insulin and C-peptide plasma levels were similar in normotensive and hypertensive obese subjects: the area under the plasma insulin curve was 36,000 +/- 3000 pmol/l X 120 min in the former and 34,000 +/- 1000 pmol/l X 120 min in the latter; the area under the plasma C-peptide curve was 298,000 +/- 26,000 pmol/l X 120 min in the former and 246,000 +/- 26,000 pmol/l X 120 min in the latter (P = n.s.). The ratio M/I between the amount of glucose metabolized (M) and the mean plasma insulin levels (I) during hyperglycaemic clamp was similar in the two groups: 0.59 +/- 0.09 in normotensive and 0.58 +/- 0.08 mg/min X m2 per pmol/l in hypertensive obese subjects (P = n.s.). Also the rate coefficient of glucose disappearance from plasma (K(itt)) after i.v. insulin injection was similar in the two groups (4.08 +/- 0.51 vs. 3.87 +/- 0.53 per cent/min).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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