Cardiovascular, cortisol and coping responses in urbanised Africans: The SAPBA Study
Van Rooyen, J.M.
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Objectives: To assess the relationships between progression of target-organ damage and cardiovascular, cortisol and coping responses in black urban Africans. Methods: Urban black African gender groups (n = 200) aged 21-62 years from the Sympathetic Activity and Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Africans study were stratified into normotensive and hypertensive groups. Resting and reactivity Finometer blood pressure, fasting sodium fluoride glucose and salivary cortisol values were obtained before and after applying the Stroop and cold pressor tests. Coping strategies were determined and high-resolution ultrasound carotid intima-media scans were done to determine progression of target-organ damage. Results: A trend of high-normal resting cortisol values during sampling time 1 was demonstrated in all hypertensive men. Both hypertensive gender groups showed increased vascular responses during both mental stressors. During the cold pressor test, vascular responses predicted sub-clinical atherosclerosis in all hypertensive men, independent of sampling time. Conclusion: Early morning vascular responses in all the hypertensive men could have occurred secondarily to the permissive effect of cortisol on norepinephrine secretion, with subsequent α-adrenergic vasoconstriction. Their α-adrenergic vascular responses during the cold pressor test, however, predicted sub-clinical atherosclerosis, independent of sampling time and cortisol level.
- Faculty of Health Sciences