The concept that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease is well established. Low-grade inflammation, enhanced oxidant stress and lipid peroxidation have been shown in association with increased cardiovascular risk associated with cardiovascular events. Arterial hypertension represents one of the most common conditions associated with increased cardiovascular risk, including stroke, myocardial infarction and heart failure. Endothelial dysfunction was initially identified as impaired vasodilation to specific stimuli; nonetheless, it has recently been suggested that the term ‘endothelial dysfunction’ would include not only reduced vasodilation, but also a proinflammatory and prothrombotic state. Inflammation has also been associated with decreased endothelium-dependent relaxation, a process related to an alteration in the bioavailability of nitric oxide. Biomarkers may yield information on outcome of disease as measurable endpoints related to specific disease. There is considerable evidence that both endothelial dysfunction and inflammation are associated with most forms of cardiovascular disease, such as essential hypertension. Besides, experimental evidence indicates that oxidative stress contributes to the pathogenesis of hypertension and may be involved in the process of atherogenesis. This review will focus on recent clinical studies on the relationship of arterial hypertension with a few molecules considered as biomarkers of oxidative stress, inflammation and endothelial dysfunction.
Keywords: Hypertension, oxidative stress, inflammation, biomarkers, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular damage
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