Diet, obesity and hypertension: An hypothesis involving insulin, the sympathetic nervous system, and adaptive thermogenesis

Lewis Landsberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

359 Scopus citations


The association of obesity and hypertension is well recognized. Although the frequency of hypertension in obese subjects varies depending upon the age, race, and sex of the population studied, as well as the definitions employed for 'hypertension' and 'obesity", several reports suggest that as many as 50 to 60 percent of overweight people have high blood pressure [1, 2]. Hypertension, more importantly, is probably the major factor accounting for increased cardiovascular disease in the obese [3, 4]. Despite the importance of the clinical problem, the fundamental nature of the association between obesity and hypertension has been obscure. Recent epidemiological and physiological studies, however, suggest that insulin and the sympathetic nervous system may be involved, and that the hypertension of obesity may be the unfortunate by-product of mechanisms that establish energy balance and limit weight gain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1090
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1986


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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