Overweight Boys More Prone to Stress

More hypertension problems found in this group

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WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Overweight boys carry a heavier burden of stress-related blood pressure increases and a decreased ability to regain normal blood pressure than overweight girls, says a Medical College of Georgia (MCG) study.

The study of 151 boys and 141 girls aged 15 to 18 found that while overweight girls tend to have a greater height/weight ratio, their blood pressures respond less to stress than overweight boys. The study also found the girls' natural mechanisms for decreasing blood pressure work much better.

"What we observed is that the boys had higher levels of blood pressure throughout, including during stress and recovery, but they did not show an equally greater level of sodium excretion to compensate for higher levels of blood pressure during stress," principal author Dr. Gregory A. Harshfield says in a prepared statement.

"What we are showing is that the mechanisms driving salt-sensitive hypertension are having more impact in males than females," Harshfield says.

The study appears in the December issue of Hypertension.

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SOURCE: Medical College of Georgia, news release, December 2003

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