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Obesity is a known risk factor for hypertension, but the mechanisms by which this occurs are still unclear. As the body mass index (BMI) is frequently used to define obesity, but the BMI does not distinguish between adipose and other tissues, we sought to develop another index of obesity. We decided to look at the ratio of BMI to urinary creatinine excretion as the latter measurement is believed to be an index of muscle mass. We used data from the modification of diet in renal disease (MDRD) study as urinary creatinine collections and blood pressure measurements were readily available in this data set. The UCRV correlated well with lean body mass determined by anthropomorphic measurements available on this data set. We found that the BMI/UCRV ratio correlated with either percent body fat (PBF) or total body fat calculated as the product of PBF and weight. We also found that the BMI/UCRV ratio correlated significantly with systolic, diastolic and especially pulse pressure in this population. These data suggest that adipocyte mass has a relationship to blood pressure in subjects with renal disease. Should these data be confirmed in other populations, the BMI/UCRV ratio may prove to be a useful measurement in patients at risk for hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.


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