Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine , Seoul , Republic of Korea.
The aim of our study was to assess the relationship between serum gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) level within the normal range and incident hypertension according to drinking and obesity status in nonhypertensive individuals. We followed up 4783 normotensive adults (mean age = 44 years) who had serum GGT levels within the normal range at baseline for 3 years. Subjects were divided into four GGT quartile groups according to their serum GGT level at baseline. The overall incidence of hypertension was 8.1%, and the incidence increased with increasing GGT quartile (3.8%, 6.9%, 9.0%, and 12.4% in the lowest, second, third, and highest GGT quartiles, respectively; P < .001). In the logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, lifestyle factors, glucose, uric acid, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and baseline systolic blood pressure, the odds ratio (ORs) for incident hypertension increased with increasing GGT quartile (P for trend = .030). In the above model, the highest quartile group showed increased ORs compared with those in the lowest quartile group (ORs [95% confidence interval], 2.638 [1.259-5.528]). Subgroup analyses revealed a significant association between GGT quartile and the incidence of hypertensionin the drinker and non-overweight groups. Our results indicate that elevated serum GGT levels within the normal range are associated with a higher risk of incident hypertension in Korean adults, particularly, in drinkers and non-overweight individuals, suggesting possible different pathophysiologic mechanisms in the incidence of alcohol- and obesity-relatedhypertension.