Effects of salt, race, and hypertension on reactivity to stressors.
Blood pressure and heart rate reactivity to a psychological stressor and to a cold pressor test were examined in a group of 51 normotensive and 37 unmedicated hypertensive men. All were studied twice, once while the participants were maintained on a moderately high salt (200 meq sodium/day) diet and once while the participants were maintained on an extremely low salt (10 meq sodium/day) diet. Dietary salt had no effect on blood pressure or heart rate responses to the two stressors. The systolic and diastolic responses of the white participants to the psychological stressor were greater than those of the black participants (both p less than 0.05); however, there was no difference between blacks and whites in reactivity to the cold pressor challenge. As compared with the normotensive group, the hypertensive group reacted to the psychological stressor with increased responses in systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate (all p less than 0.05). The hypertensive group also hyperresponded in terms of the systolic pressure response to the cold pressor task (p less than 0.05). Plasma norepinephrine and epinephrine responses were not significantly different across the two diets, races, or diagnoses.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association