“Vascular Health: Understanding the Vicious Cycle of Hypertension, Hyperlipidemia, and Diabetes”

2023-05-13 06:00:00

Hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes (hyperglycemia) are chronic diseases that threaten vascular health. According to statistics, the estimated prevalence of hypertension among adults in their 20s and older in Korea is about 12.6 million, 11,558,000 adult hyperlipidemia patients, and 10 million diabetes patients, including pre-diabetic patients. Just looking at the statistics, it deserves to be called a national chronic disease. These three diseases form a vicious cycle with each other, and the risk of cardiovascular disease increases more than double when the three diseases occur simultaneously.

Hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and hyperglycemia affect each otherㅣSource: Getty Image Bank

Hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and hyperglycemia form a vicious circle
The three major indicators of vascular health are blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. This is why hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure, and hyperglycemia (diabetes), which are diseases that affect all blood vessels in our body, are called ‘three high blood vessels’. Although these three diseases are different diseases, they are closely related to each other.

Hyperlipidemia refers to a condition in which low-density lipoprotein (LDL), called bad cholesterol, is present in the blood more than necessary, resulting in an increase in blood concentration and consequently, accumulation of fat on the walls of blood vessels, causing inflammation. Inelastic and damaged blood vessels narrow due to excess fat accumulated on the walls of blood vessels, which causes cardiovascular diseases such as arteriosclerosis, angina pectoris, and myocardial infarction.

An abnormal cholesterol level is a risk factor for causing high blood pressure. When cholesterol levels in the body are high due to hyperlipidemia, blood pressure rises well. Cholesterol that has penetrated into the blood vessel intima continues to accumulate, forming plaque, which makes the blood vessel narrow and hard. Blood has to be pumped through the blood vessels, and when the blood vessels are narrowed, more powerful pressure is required, so blood pressure naturally rises. That is, high blood pressure occurs. A study by researchers at Teikyo University in Japan, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association in 2016, found that higher levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood increased the risk of developing high blood pressure by up to 27%. .

Like this, cholesterol and blood pressure affect each other and repeat the vicious cycle. The same is true of the relationship between blood pressure and blood sugar. They affect each other and attack blood vessels. The risk of developing high blood pressure in people with diabetes is about twice as high as in people with normal blood sugar. When blood sugar is high, the ability of the kidneys to produce hormones that control waste products, water, and salt in the body and help constrict and relax blood vessels decreases. This leads to a failure to regulate the amount of water and salt in the body, and increases the secretion of renin, a hormone that raises blood pressure, and angiotensin, a hormone that constricts blood vessels, raising blood pressure and increasing the risk of hypertension.

According to a report by the Korean Diabetes Association, the prevalence of hypertension in diabetic patients aged 30 years or older in Korea reached 55.3%, and in the case of diabetic patients aged 65 years or older, the prevalence of hypertension reached 71.2%. In addition, diabetes affects hyperlipidemia by increasing LDL and triglyceride levels, which are bad cholesterol, and decreasing the concentration of high-density lipoprotein (DHL), which is good cholesterol.

Blood vessel level 3 in ‘one barrel’ increases the risk of cardiovascular disease
As blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar, which are barometers of blood vessel health, are added one by one, the risk to heart and brain health increases. If the stroke incidence rate of a person with only diabetes is 0.84%, this figure rises to 5.26% if they have both diabetes and hyperlipidemia. If you have both diabetes, high blood pressure, and hyperlipidemia, the risk of stroke increases by up to 5.93%.

Furthermore, since these diseases are caused by ‘lifestyle’, they occur simultaneously. In fact, 61% of hypertensive patients in Korea are treated for hyperlipidemia or diabetes, and it is known that 19% are treated for all three diseases.

Looking at each study, it can be seen that the risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease is much higher when the three diseases are combined: hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes.

According to a cohort study conducted on Koreans in Korea, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes are the main causes of cardiovascular disease in Koreans, and those who have all of these risk factors are more than six times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those without them. It was high. Similar results were also published in The UK Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS), a large-scale epidemiological study conducted in the UK in 1999. According to studies, increased LDL cholesterol, decreased HDL cholesterol, high blood sugar, and hypertension have been identified as risk factors for coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction in type 2 diabetic patients, and statistics from the Korean Diabetes Association also show that 70 causes of death in diabetic patients % reported cardiovascular complications.

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