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Young Black Men Have Higher Central Blood Pressure

Compared with young white men, adjusted aortic, carotid systolic blood pressure is higher in young black men

MONDAY, Nov. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Young black men have higher central blood pressure compared with young white men, likely due to increased central artery stiffness and reduced peripheral endothelial function, according to study findings released online Oct. 10 in advance of publication in the American Journal of Physiology Heart and Circulatory Physiology.

Kevin S. Heffernan, Ph.D., from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and colleagues performed a cross-sectional study of 55 healthy young men (25 were black and 30 were white). Several tests were used to assess macrovascular structure and function, microvascular function, and hemodynamics.

Although brachial systolic blood pressure was similar between the two groups, significantly higher mean adjusted aortic systolic blood pressure levels (112 versus 106 mm Hg) and carotid systolic blood pressure levels (129 versus 120 mm Hg) were recorded for black men compared with white men, respectively. The investigators also confirmed that the black males had altered macrovascular and microvascular function, manifested as carotid hypertrophy and central elastic artery stiffness. Further, they showed black men had greater arterial wave reflection compared with white men.

"To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine racial differences in central blood pressure," the authors write, adding that "brachial blood pressure may neglect important information on cardiovascular burden and response to therapy in African American men."

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