Comparison of cardiac versus vascular reactors and ethnic groups in plasma epinephrine and norepinephrine responses to stress.
This study examined differences in plasma epinephrine (EPI) and norepinephrine (NOREPI) responses to stressors in 67 healthy African-American and Caucasian American men and women of the ages 18 to 49. Subjects were divided into three groups: (a) those who showed high blood pressure (BPI responses to stress associated with consistently high cardiac output (CO) increases with no substantial increases in total peripheral resistance (TPR), labeled cardiac reactors: (b) those with equally high BP increases associated with consistently higher TPR increases and lesser CO increases. labeled vascular reactors; (c) those who showed mixed hemodynamic responses or were low BP reactors. Ethnic and gender group differences in EPI and NOREPI responses were also examined. Cardiac reactors, vascular reactors and mixed + low reactors did not differ in EPI or NOREPI levels at baseline. During stressors, cardiac reactors showed greater increases in plasma EPI than vascular reactors or others during math, reaction time, and passive and active speech tasks: they also showed a weak trend toward greater NOREPI increases during these challenges as well. No differences were seen during the cold pressor: this stressor evoked the least change in EPI of all tasks, whereas the active speech elicited the greatest increases in both EPI and NOREPI of all tasks. Vascular reactors did not differ from mixed + low reactors in EPI or NOREPI reactivity, and men and women did not differ in EPI or NOREPI reactivity to any task. In contrast, Black subjects showed greater increases in NOREPI levels across all stressors compared to White subjects. These findings have implications for investigations of the role of sympathetic nervous system activity in the pathogenesis of hypertension in both African-American and Caucasian American populations.
Light, KC; Turner, JR; Hinderliter, AL; Girdler, SS; Sherwood, A
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