Attenuated NOx responses and myocardial ischemia, a possible risk for structural vascular disease in African men: the SABPA study

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Abstract

Chronically elevated blood pressure has been associated with impaired NO-mediated vasodilation and structural vascular disease risk. This study aimed to determine whether significant associations exist regarding NO metabolite (NOx) responses, cardiovascular function and structural vascular disease in a cohort of African and Caucasian men. The study included 81 African and 94 Caucasian male teachers stratified via median splits into low and high NOx ethnic groups. Ambulatory blood pressure, electrocardiogram monitoring and ultrasound carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) images were obtained. Cardiovascular measurements and fasting blood for NOx responses were measured during rest and on challenging the cardiovascular system with the Stroop colour-word conflict test. African men displayed significantly higher resting NOx as well as higher number of 24 h silent ischemic events than their Caucasian counterparts. Low NOx African men displayed enhanced a-adrenergic and ECG ST segment depression acute mental stress responses as well as 24 h silent ischemic events associated with CIMT (adjusted R2=0.47; β=0.25; confidence interval (CI)=0.13, 0.41). African men demonstrated a vulnerable cardiovascular profile. Novel findings revealed a-adrenergic-driven blood pressure responses and less NO bioavailability during acute stress. The association between myocardial ischemia and CIMT in this group emphasized their risk for future coronary artery disease and cerebrovascular events.

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