Cardiovascular responsivity to stress in adolescents with and without persistently elevated blood pressure

Patrice G. Saab, Maria M. Llabre, Mindy Ma, Vicki DiLillo, Judith R. McCalla, Anita Fernander-Scott, Rachel Copen, Marc Gellman, Neil Schneiderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objectives: The goal of this study was to compare the cardiovascular responses to behavioural stressors of three groups of adolescents who differed in blood pressure status across assessments. Design: Casual blood pressure of adolescents who were identified as having elevated blood pressure during a school screen was re-evaluated in the laboratory. The adolescents were classified into two groups: (i) those with consistently elevated blood pressure across school and laboratory assessments and (i) those with labile blood pressure whose blood pressure in the laboratory was below 130/80 mmHg. A comparison group of adolescents with consistently normal blood pressure was also included. Methods: Cardiovascular parameters were assessed during rest and during two behavioural stressors, the evaluated speaking task and the mirror tracing task. Results: Adolescents with elevated blood pressure were more vascularly responsive across stressors than adolescents with labile blood pressure, who, in turn, were more reactive than adolescents with normal blood pressure. Conclusions: These results suggest that vascular reactivity to behavioural stressors may be useful in predicting risk of hypertension because of its sensitivity in distinguishing adolescents with consistently elevated blood pressure from those with labile blood pressure and those with normal blood pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of hypertension
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Adolescents
  • Behavioural stressors
  • Cardiovascular reactivity
  • Hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology


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