Adrenal androgen excretion during adrenarche. Relation to race and blood pressure.
We have previously shown that black children have higher blood pressures than white children. In the present study, we examined whether a possible racial difference in adrenal androgen production during adrenarche might contribute to the racial disparity in blood pressure. Adrenal androgen production was estimated from urinary excretion of adrenal androgen metabolites that showed cross-reactivity with antisera to dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S). Urine samples were collected overnight in 798 children, one third of whom were black. Analyses were performed for two different age groups, less than 10 years and 10 years or more of age. In children less than 10 years of age, adrenal androgen excretion rates were 17% higher in blacks than in whites (p = 0.0099); adrenal androgen excretion rates tended to be higher in older black children as well, but differences here were not statistically significant. Adrenal androgen excretion rates were positively correlated with diastolic blood pressure in the older age group only (p = 0.014). However, when the relation of race to blood pressure was examined along with adrenal androgen excretion adjusted for age, sex, and weight, race remained an independent contributor to the level of blood pressure, suggesting that a difference in adrenal androgens could not explain the racial differences in blood pressure. In summary, black children produced more adrenal androgen, but this did not explain their higher blood pressures. In older children, where adrenal androgen excretion rates were higher, diastolic blood pressure and adrenal androgen excretion were positively related, suggesting that adrenal androgens participate in establishing the level of blood pressure in young people.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association