Skip main navigation

Altered erythrocyte and plasma sodium and potassium in hypertension, a facet of hyperinsulinemia.

Originally published 1988;11:71–77

    Red blood cell sodium and potassium, plasma potassium, glucose and insulin responses to oral glucose load, serum urate, and plasma triglycerides were determined in a stratified subsample (n = 89) of a representative population sample (n = 1211), comprising 30 nonobese normotensive subjects with normal glucose tolerance (reference group) and 59 subjects representing each of the seven possible combinations of abnormal glucose tolerance, obesity, and hypertension. Rate of cation imbalance (red blood cell sodium greater than or equal to 7.0 mEq/L, potassium less than 92.5 mEq/L, or plasma potassium greater than or equal to 4.5 mEq/L) was 88.1% in subjects with abnormal tolerance, obesity, or hypertension, as compared with 40.0% in the reference group (p less than 0.001). These subjects were also characterized by significantly greater rates of insulin response: 60- and 120-minute postload levels of 100 mU/L or more (88.1 vs 46.7%), plasma triglycerides of 80 mg/dl or more (89.8 vs 53.3%) and serum uric acid of 5.5 mg/dl or more (61.0 vs 26.7%; p less than 0.001 for all). The rate of cation imbalance was significantly associated with each of these three biochemical correlates: insulin response (p less than 0.01), triglycerides (p less than 0.001), and urate (p less than 0.001). In the total population sample, the rate of untreated hypertension increased from 18% to 35% to 55.3% (p less than 0.001), with an increase in the number of biochemical correlates of cation imbalance in combination with glucose intolerance and obesity.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


    eLetters should relate to an article recently published in the journal and are not a forum for providing unpublished data. Comments are reviewed for appropriate use of tone and language. Comments are not peer-reviewed. Acceptable comments are posted to the journal website only. Comments are not published in an issue and are not indexed in PubMed. Comments should be no longer than 500 words and will only be posted online. References are limited to 10. Authors of the article cited in the comment will be invited to reply, as appropriate.

    Comments and feedback on AHA/ASA Scientific Statements and Guidelines should be directed to the AHA/ASA Manuscript Oversight Committee via its Correspondence page.