Cardiovascular Reactivity and Central Adiposity in Older African Americans

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This study examined central adiposity, as measured by waist circumference (WC), in relation to mental-stress induced systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and heart rate (HR) responses, body composition, the metabolic syndrome, and health practices in 22 older, African American men and women (ages 52–79 years). The high WC (> 100 cm) group showed significantly greater SBP, DBP, and HR reactivity, greater fasting insulin levels, lower high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, greater fat mass in both truncal and peripheral regions, and greater body mass index as compared to the low WC (< 100 cm) group. Groups were comparable with respect to fat-free mass, peak oxygen consumption (VO2), leisure time activity, dietary intake, resting blood pressure, and other metabolic variables. The findings support a clustering of metabolic and mental stress risk factors that may predispose older African Americans to increased cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

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