Elevation of serum lipid levels during diuretic therapy of hypertension

Richard P. Ames, Peter Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Scopus citations


In a study attempting to improve coronary risk status, serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels were measured before and during treatment of 74 patients with mild primary hypertension. In 35 patients there was a satisfactory reduction in elevated blood pressure levels with diet therapy alone. In the remaining 39 patients a diuretic drug was required in addition to the diet. Diet therapy alone was followed by a decrease of 11 mg 100 ml in mean serum cholesterol (p < 0.01 versus pretreatment value) and no change in serum triglyceride. The use of diuretics was accompanied by an average increase of 11 mg 100 ml in serum cholesterol and of 34 mg 100 ml in serum triglyceride (p < 0.01 versus pretreatment level for both). In a subgroup of 21 patients with greatest elevations in lipid levels during the administration of diuretics, little improvement in coronary risk status occurred because the increase in serum cholesterol balanced the decrease in systolic blood pressure, according to Framingham risk tables. If the level of serum lipids is a factor in the pathogenesis of coronary atherosclerosis, then the observed effect of diuretic drugs to elevate serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels may explain, in part, the continuing high rate of occurrence of myocardial infarction during the treatment of hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)748-757
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1976


Dive into the research topics of 'Elevation of serum lipid levels during diuretic therapy of hypertension'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this