Prevention of atherosclerosis and end-organ damage: A basis for antihypertensive interventional strategies

C. J. Schwartz, A. J. Valente, E. F. Hildebrandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Aim: To review the nature of the complex relationships between essential hypertension and cardiovascular end-organ damage, with a particular focus on the pathogenesis and prevention of coronary heart disease, the major complication of untreated hypertension. Risk factors for coronary heart disease: Both atherosclerosis and hypertension have their origins in childhood; in the second and third decades of life development of the more advanced fibrous plaques accelerates, emphasizing the need for early diagnosis and intervention. Perplexing and complex relationships have been found among the principal risk factors for coronary heart disease, hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and hypertension. In the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis at the cellular and molecular level, the important features are the effects of monocyte-macrophages, oxidant stress, lipoprotein modification, inflammatory mediators and the focal hemodynamic environment. Even brief periods of experimental hypertension can accentuate atherogenesis, the effects of which are greatest but not limited to the cervical and cerebral arteries. Further, acute hypertension lasting for even a few minutes causes a 'leakage' of plasma proteins and particulate probes into the artery wall, which has far-reaching implications for antihypertensive therapy. Recent work has shown that 24-h blood pressure variability is correlated with target-organ damage in hypertensive patients. Therapy: Antihypertensive therapy should not only lower blood pressure but also prevent significant short-term blood pressure fluctuations. The trough:peak ratio has been used to assess the effect of antihypertensive treatment on blood pressure variability. Conclusion: More intensive research is required to clarify the nature of the interface between hypertension and atherogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S3-S11
JournalJournal of Hypertension, Supplement
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994


  • Acute blood pressure effects
  • Atherogenesis
  • Calcium antagonists
  • Childhood origins
  • Hypertensive cardiovascular disease
  • Trough:peak ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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