BACKGROUND - Biomarkers of extracellular matrix remodeling are associated with prevalent hypertension in cross-sectional studies, but their relations to longitudinal changes in blood pressure (BP) and hypertension incidence are unknown.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We evaluated 595 nonhypertensive Framingham Offspring Study participants (mean age 55 years; 360 women) without prior heart failure or myocardial infarction who underwent routine measurements of plasma tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1), metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), and procollagen III N-terminal peptide. We related plasma TIMP-1, procollagen III N-terminal peptide, and MMP-9 to the incidence of hypertension and progression of BP by >or=1 category (defined on the basis of the sixth report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure). On follow-up (4 years), 81 participants (51 women) developed hypertension, and 198 (114 women) progressed to a higher BP category. In multivariable models, a 1-SD increment of log-TIMP-1 was associated with a 50% higher incidence of hypertension (95% CI 1.08 to 2.08) and a 21% (95% CI 1.00 to 1.47) higher risk of BP progression. Individuals in the top TIMP-1 tertile had a 2.15-fold increased risk of hypertension (95% CI 0.99 to 4.68) and 1.68-fold (95% CI 1.05 to 2.70) increased risk of BP progression relative to the lowest tertile. Individuals with detectable MMP-9 had a 1.97-fold higher risk of BP progression (95% CI 1.06 to 3.64) than those with undetectable levels. Plasma procollagen III N-terminal peptide was not associated with hypertension incidence or BP progression.
CONCLUSIONS - In the present community-based sample, higher TIMP-1 and MMP-9 concentrations were associated with BP progression on follow-up. Additional studies are warranted to confirm our findings.