1. The effect of diuretic therapy on serum lipids and lipoprotein fractions was evaluated in 16 normal or labile hypertensive subjects who received in cross-over fashion chlorthalidone, frusemide or mefruside, each for 4 weeks (group A); and in 13 patients with essential hypertension treated with chlorthalidone for 6 weeks (group B).
2. All three diuretics significantly increased the ratio between serum β- and α-lipoprotein fractions. This was due to an increase of the serum β-lipoprotein fraction while the α-lipoprotein fraction was not changed significantly (group A) or decreased (group B). Serum cholesterol or triglycerides tended to be increased, but mean changes were often not significant.
3. The observed alterations in serum lipoproteins are consistent with the possibility of an increased risk for coronary heart disease which could offset partly the beneficial effects of a lowered blood pressure in diuretic-treated patients with hypertension.