implications for understanding ethnic effects on blood pressure regulation
PURPOSE: We have previously shown that Afghans residing in Denmark for at least 12 years exhibit a lower 24-h ambulatory blood pressure compared to Danes. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that the lower blood pressure reflects attenuated compensatory baroreflex responses in the Afghans. METHODS: On a controlled diet (2,822 cal/day, 55-75 mmol + 2 mmol Na+/kg/day), 12 young males of Afghan (Afghans) and 12 young males of Danish (Danes) origin were exposed to a two-step lower body negative pressure (LBNP) protocol of -20 and -50 mmHg, respectively, each of 10-min duration. RESULTS: Afghans had lower 24-h systolic blood pressure compared to Danes (115 ± 2 vs. 123 ± 1 mmHg, p < 0.05). Cardiac output and stroke volume were significantly lower in Afghans compared to Danes prior to and during each level of LBNP. However, it decreased to the same extent in both groups during LBNP. During LBNP of -20 mmHg, plasma noradrenaline concentration and plasma renin activity (PRA) increased significantly only in the Afghans. At LBNP of -50 mmHg plasma noradrenaline concentration and PRA both increased significantly and similarly in the two groups. CONCLUSION: The lower 24-h ambulatory blood pressure in the Afghans is probably caused by a lower stroke volume, which augmented the circulatory and vasoactive hormonal responses to LBNP in the Afghans. The lower stroke volume in Afghans residing in Denmark compared to that of matched native Danes remains to be explained.
European Journal of Applied Physiology, 2014, Vol 114, Issue 11, p. 2321-9