Programming of hypertension: associations of plasma aldosterone in adult men and women with birthweight, cortisol, and blood pressure

Reynolds, R. M., Walker, B. R., Phillips, D. I., Dennison, E. M., Fraser, R., MacKenzie, S. M. , Davies, E. and Connell, J. M. (2009) Programming of hypertension: associations of plasma aldosterone in adult men and women with birthweight, cortisol, and blood pressure. Hypertension, 53(6), pp. 932-936. (doi:10.1161/​HYPERTENSIONAHA.109.129320)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/​HYPERTENSIONAHA.109.129320

Abstract

Animal models suggest that explanations for the association of low birthweight with adult hypertension may include chronic activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal or renin-angiotensin-aldosterone axes. In humans, low birthweight predicts elevated plasma cortisol, but associations with aldosterone have not been reported. We measured aldosterone in serum samples from 205 men and 106 women from 67 to 78 years of age, from Hertfordshire, UK, for whom birthweight was recorded. Participants underwent an overnight low-dose (0.25 mg) dexamethasone suppression test and a low-dose (1 μg) ACTH (corticotropin) stimulation test and were genotyped for the -344 C/T polymorphism of the CYP11B2 gene encoding aldosterone synthase. Median aldosterone was 6.22 ng/dL (range 0.15 to 38.74) and was higher in men than women (P<0.0001). Higher aldosterone levels after both dexamethasone and ACTH stimulation were associated with higher blood pressure (r=0.20, P=0.001; r=0.33, P<0.0001, respectively) and with lower birthweight (r=−0.16, P=0.008; r=−0.21, P=0.001, respectively). These associations remained significant after adjusting for age, gender, obesity, and genotype. Our findings supplement previous evidence that aldosterone is an important regulator of blood pressure and suggest that factors in early life that retard fetal growth and program activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in humans result not only in higher glucocorticoid activity but also in increased mineralocorticoid acti

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Davies, Professor Eleanor and Connell, Professor John and MacKenzie, Dr Scott
Authors: Reynolds, R. M., Walker, B. R., Phillips, D. I., Dennison, E. M., Fraser, R., MacKenzie, S. M., Davies, E., and Connell, J. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Hypertension
Publisher:American Heart Association
ISSN:0194-911X
ISSN (Online):1524-4563
Published Online:20 April 2009
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
392521Regulation of aldosterone and cortisol synthesis in hypertension and cardiovascular diseaseEleanor DaviesMedical Research Council (MRC)G0400874Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
392522Regulation of aldosterone and cortisol synthesis in hypertension and cardiovascular diseaseEleanor DaviesMedical Research Council (MRC)G0400874Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences