This study evaluated the effect of prazosin in controlled mild hypertension and evaluated select metabolic changes that occurred with prazosin monotherapy. Various aspects of glucose, insulin, and lipid metabolism were studied before and after approximately 10 weeks of prazosin treatment in 12 patients with mild hypertension. Prazosin was well tolerated and induced a significant decrease (p <0.001) in both systolic and diastolic blood pressures, without any change in body weight. Plasma concentrations of glucose, free fatty acid, and lactate, which were measured hourly from 8 A.M. to 4 P.M. following meals consumed at 8 A.M. and noon, did not change with prazosin treatment. However, the plasma insulin response from 8 A.M. to 4 P.M. decreased significantly (p <0.001) following prazosin treatment. In addition, fasting plasma triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations were significantly lower (p <0.05) in prazosin-treated persons, as were postprandial triglyceride concentrations (p <0.001). Lower total plasma triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations were accounted for by decreases in very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride, whereas both high-density lipoprotein triglyceride and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations increased following prazosin treatment. Finally, although both apolipoprotein A1 and apolipoprotein B concentrations decreased in association with prazosin treatment, the decrease in apolipoprotein B was much greater in magnitude, leading to an increase in the ratio of apolipoprotein A1 to apolipoprotein B. In this study, treatment of mild hypertension with prazosin led to lower blood pressures and changes in insulin and lipoprotein metabolism that are important in this patient population.
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