Defensive coping and renovascular disease risk. Adrenal fatigue in a cohort of Africans and Caucasians: the SABPA study
De Kock, Andrea
Malan, Nico T.
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Background: Defensive coping is an established cardiovascular risk factor in Africans. Additionally, chronic, excessive or inadequate hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPAA) stress responses could either increase or decrease cortisol responses, which may relate to renal impairment. We scrutinised the relationship between urinary cortisol levels and renovascular disease risk in Africans and Caucasians utilising defensive coping. Methods: Africans (n = 168) and Caucasians (n = 207) from the SABPA (Sympathetic activity and Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Africans) study were included in our analyses, excluding HIV positive, diabetic, renal impairment, and cortisone users. The Coping Strategy Indicator questionnaire assessed preferred coping responses. Ambulatory blood pressure was recorded together with 8 h fasting blood and urine sampling. Renovascular disease risk markers included the albumin–to–creatinine ratio (ACR) and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). Results: The main findings revealed that Caucasians with high cortisol showed augmented renovascular disease risk. Conversely, Africans revealed lowcortisol levelswhilst 21.84% reported experience of severe stress, possibly depicting HPAA hypoactivity. Additionally, these Africans with low cortisol revealed increased ACR and decreased eGFR, which was further enhanced by defensive coping. Conclusions: Defensive coping enhanced renovascular risk in Africans, especially in those with lower cortisol, which may be due to HPAA dysfunction and/or adrenal fatigue.
- Faculty of Health Sciences