Plasma total calcium concentration is associated with blood pressure and systemic vascular resistance in normotensive and never-treated hypertensive subjects

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Purpose: The underlying causes of primary hypertension are not fully understood. Evidence on the relation of plasma calcium concentration with blood pressure (BP) is inconsistent and relies largely on studies utilizing office BP measurements in populations using cardiovascular drugs. In many studies adjustment for confounders was not optimal. In this cross-sectional study we examined the association of plasma total calcium concentration with the haemodynamic determinants of blood pressure.Subjects and methods: Supine haemodynamics were recorded using pulse wave analysis, whole-body impedance cardiography, and heart rate variability analysis in 618 normotensive or never-treated hypertensive subjects (aged 19-72 years) without diabetes, cardiovascular or renal disease, or cardiovascular medications. Linear regression analysis was used to investigate factors associated with haemodynamic variables.Results: Mean age was 45.0 years, body mass index 26.8 kg/m2, seated office BP 141/89 mmHg, and 307 subjects (49.7%) were male. Mean values of routine blood and plasma chemistry analyses were within the reference limits of the tests except for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (3.05 mmol/l). In the laboratory, mean supine radial BP was 131/75 mmHg, and both systolic and diastolic BP correlated directly with plasma total calcium concentration (r = 0.25 and r = 0.22, respectively, p < 0.001 for both). In regression analysis plasma total calcium concentration was an independent explanatory variable for radial and aortic systolic and diastolic BP, and systemic vascular resistance, but not for cardiac output, pulse wave velocity, or any of the heart rate variability parameters.Conclusion: Plasma total calcium concentration was directly associated with systolic and diastolic BP and systemic vascular resistance in normotensive or never-treated hypertensive subjects without comorbidities and cardiovascular medications. Higher plasma calcium concentration potentially plays a role in primary hypertension via an effect on vascular resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-148
Issue number3
Early online date2 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Blood Pressure
  • Biomarkers/blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Vascular Resistance
  • Hypertension/blood
  • Risk Factors
  • Calcium/blood

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


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