Annals of Internal Medicine is published by the American College of Physicians, an organization of more than 115,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students. These highlights are not intended to substitute for articles as sources of information. For an embargoed fax of an article, call 1-800-523-1546, ext. 2656, or 215-351-2656.
A study of 300 people with normal blood pressure found that those who had larger amounts of fat inside the abdomen were four times more likely to develop hypertension by the end of the 11-year study than those who had small or normal amounts of fat in the abdomen (Article, p. 992). About one in three of the Japanese-American study participants developed hypertension. Researchers used a CT scan to measure fat in many locations, such as fat inside the abdomen, fat just under the skin of the abdomen, total body fat, and waist size. Only the amount of fat inside the abdomen correlated with the risk for developing hypertension.
In a six-year study of 140 middle-aged white men, a group assigned to regular aerobic exercise improved in fitness but did not have less thickening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) than the group that continued its usual physical activity (Article, p. 1007). The aerobic exercise group walked, jogged, skied cross-country, swam or cycled for 45 to 60 minutes five times per week. Artery walls of men in both groups thickened to a similar extent over the study period. However, the artery walls of exercising men not taking cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins thickened less than the arteries of the men in the usual-exercise group who weren't taking statins.
(Article, p. 1001)
(Guidelines, p. 1037)