Inflammation has been hypothesized to play a role in the development of hypertension. The high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) is a well-studied marker of systemic inflammation that has a predictive power with regard to the development of hypertension. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that hs-CRP plasma levels are altered in hypertension. Moreover, the study was to assess whether chronic antihypertensive treatment with doxazosin would normalize hs-CRP and nitrites/nitrates. We measured plasma levels of hs-CRP and nitrites/nitrates in 44 normotensive subjects and in 44 patients with hypertension before and after doxazosin therapy for 4 months. hs-CRP plasma levels were significantly higher (P<0.007) in untreated hypertensive group compared to controls. Significant decrease was observed for hs-CRP (P<0.05) in hypertensive patients after antihypertensive treatment. Nitrites/nitrates were significantly lower (P<0.0001) in the untreated hypertensive group compared to controls. A significant increase was observed for nitrites/nitrates (P<0.05) in hypertensive patients after antihypertensive treatment. These results suggest that doxazosin treatment exerts anti-inflammatory effects in addition to its antihypertensive properties in hypertensive patients.
*Department of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
†“G. Descovich” Atherosclerosis Study Center, “D. Campanacci” Department of Clinical Medicine and Applied Biotechnology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
‡Biometric Unit, IRCCS Policlinico S. Matteo, Pavia, Italy
Reprints: Giuseppe Derosa, MD, PhD, Department of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Pavia, P.le C. Golgi, 2, 27100 Pavia, Italy (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Received for publication December 11, 2005; accepted March 5, 2006