Race, parental history of hypertension, and patterns of cardiovascular reactivity in women.
This study examined the interaction of race and parental history of hypertension on patterns of cardiovascular responses among women. Two stressors were used that produce different patterns of cardiovascular reactivity: mental arithmetic, primarily a beta-adrenergic stimulus, and the cold face stimulus, which evokes alpha-adrenergic (i.e. vascular) activity. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, forearm blood flow, and forearm vascular resistance were assessed before, during, and after arithmetic and cold face stimulus. Both tasks produced the expected patterns of cardiovascular adjustment, although no Black-White differences occurred during arithmetic. However, Black subjects did show a slower recovery of diastolic blood pressure following arithmetic. The cold face stimulus produced significantly greater changes in systolic blood pressure in the Black than in the White women. Parental history of hypertension did not relate significantly to reactivity. The results provide limited support for the idea that Black females exhibit a greater pressor response than White females to a stimulus that produces primarily vascular rather than cardiac changes. These findings are discussed in relation to previous findings with males and with respect to their implications for the role of reactivity in Black-White differences in hypertension prevalence.
Anderson, NB; Lane, JD; Taguchi, F; Williams, RB; Houseworth, SJ
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