Sympathoadrenal Stress Reactivity Is a Predictor of Future Blood Pressure
An 18-Year Follow-Up Study
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In the present study we hypothesized that arterial catecholamine concentrations during rest and 2 laboratory stress tests were independent predictors of blood pressure at an 18-year follow-up. At entry, blood pressure, heart rate, and arterial plasma epinephrine and norepinephrine concentrations were measured in 99 healthy men (age: 19.3±0.4 years, mean±SD) at rest, during a mental arithmetic test, and during a cold pressor test. After 18.0±0.9 years of follow-up, resting blood pressure was measured. The norepinephrine and epinephrine concentrations during the mental arithmetic explained 12.7% of the variation of future systolic blood pressure after adjusting for initial resting blood pressure, family history, body mass index, and systolic blood pressure during the stress test in a multiple regression analysis (adjusted R2=0.651; P<0.001). To conclude, the present study shows that sympathetic nervous activity during mental arithmetic predicts future blood pressure, indicating a possible causal factor in the development of essential hypertension independent of the initial blood pressure.
- blood pressure
- stress reactivity
- cold pressor test
- mental stress
- Received February 5, 2008.
- Revision received February 29, 2008.
- Accepted May 28, 2008.