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Acute mental stressor induced cardiac stress responses may contribute to excessive myocardial strain and resultant cardiovascular episode risk. Ethnic-specific acute cardiac stress (cardiac troponin T and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide), related to hemodynamic activity, were assessed. The prospective Sympathetic Activity and ambulatory blood pressure in Africans (SABPA) study, conducted during 2007-2008, North-West, South Africa, was investigated. In the cross-sectional phase of the SABPA study, N=388 Africans and Caucasians underwent a 1-min acute mental stressor, during which blood pressure (BP) was continuously measured. Fasting blood samples for cardiac stress markers were obtained pre- and 10 min post-stress (% change). Resting 10-lead ECG determined the R wave of the aVL lead (RavL). Africans exhibited greater cardiac stress responses (p<0.001), diastolic blood pressure, total peripheral resistance and stroke volume opposed to Caucasians who displayed decreases in cardiac stress and increases in cardiac output. Pre-stress and stress cTnT cut-points of 4.2pg/mL predicted 24 hour, daytime-and night time diastolic hypertension in Africans (p<0.001). These cTnT cut-points were associated with an ethnic-specific RaVL cut-point of 0.28mV [
3.49 (95%CI 2.18, 5.83; p=0.021). Acute mental stress elicited an α-adrenergic activation pattern and cardiac stress hyper-reactivity in Africans exclusively. Mental stress may increase the African population's risk for ischemic episodes and heart disease.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: American journal of epidemiology
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