The association between carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios of human hair and hypertension

Song Vogue Ahn, Jong Ku Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The relationship between stable isotope ratios and dietary protein sources has been reported. However, few studies have examined the effect of stable isotope ratios on metabolic risk in humans. We investigated whether the stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen in human hair are associated with blood pressure and hypertension. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 392 subjects (228 men and 164 women). Hair samples of the subjects were used for the measurement of stable isotope ratios of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N). Results: The δ13C and δ15N values showed positive correlations with diastolic blood pressure in the subjects without antihypertensive medication. In the subjects without antihypertensive medication, the multivariable-adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence interval) for hypertension was 1.55 (1.04–2.30) per 1‰ increase in δ15N and 1.22 (0.86–1.73) per 1‰ increase in δ13C, respectively. However, in the subjects with antihypertensive medication, neither δ13C nor δ15N values showed a significant association with hypertension. Conclusions: The stable isotopic ratio of nitrogen in scalp hair is independently associated with hypertension in subjects without antihypertensive medication. The hair δ15N value might be used as a surrogate marker to screen a high-risk population for hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4
JournalClinical Hypertension
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a Research Fund from the Korea Society of Hypertension.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


  • Blood pressure
  • Carbon
  • Hypertension
  • Isotopes
  • Nitrogen


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