Project: Research project

Project Details


Black people in the United States have a much higher prevalence of
essential hypertension than whites. Causes of this difference are
speculative but, differences in diet, renal physiology and socioecologic
factors have been implicated. A high level of autonomic nervous system
(ANS) reactivity to emotionally challenging stimuli has also been related
to the development of essential hypertension. The presently proposed
project will focus upon the propostion that black-white differences in
renal function, an elevated intake of sodium, a high level of psychosocial
and socioecologic stress, and a high level of ANS reactivity to
emotionally stressful situations interact to produce the very high,
disproportionate prevalence of borderline hypertension that has been
reported for poor inner-city blacks. In order to study this proposition
the proposed project would examine in 320 25-44 year old Miami residents,
cardiovascular (i.e., heart rate, blood pressure, rate-pressure product)
and hormonal (i.e., plasma epinephrine, norepinephrine, renin, cortisol)
responses to standardized, laboratory, biobehavioral challenges (i.e.,
bicycle ergometer, competitive video game, cold pressor test, Type A
structured interview). Cardiovascular and hormonal responses to the
biobehavioral challenges will be specifically compared as a function of
race, sex, socioeconomic status and normal blood pressure versus borderline
hypertension. The results will be further analyzed as a function of
dietary (e.g., sodium, potassium, and calcium intake), genetic, (i.e.,
family history of hypertension), organismic (i.e., urinary sodium,
potassium, calcium; plasma renin, cortisol, catecholamines, aerobic
fitness; obesity), and psychological (e.g., alienation; anger expression;
chronic anxiety) variables. Extent to which the reactivity findings
obtained in the laboratory generalize to everyday life will be examined
using ambulatory electrocardiographic and blood pressure monitoring.
Effective start/end date9/30/839/29/86


  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)


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