Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 163–170 | Cite as

Differences in resting cardiovascular parameters in 10- to 15-year-old children of different ethnicity: The contribution of physiological and psychological factors

  • Johannes M. van Rooyen
  • Alida W. Nienaber
  • Hugo W. Huisman
  • Aletta E. Schutte
  • Nico T. Malan
  • Rudolph Schutte
  • Leoné Malan
Article

Abstract

Background: The health status of children in the North West Province of South Africa was examined using the Transition and Health during Urbanization in South Africa in Children study. This is an epidemiological, cross-sectional study for which 1,244 children between 10 and 15 years of age were recruited from 44 schools.Purpose: Our objective was to investigate whether differences exist between resting cardiovascular parameters of Black, White, colored, and Indian children and evaluate the contribution of physiological and psychological factors.Methods: Blood pressure was monitored with the Finapres apparatus. By means of the Fast Modelflo software program, the systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), mean arterial pressure, heart rate, cardiac output (CO), total peripheral resistance (TPR), and “Windkessel” compliance (Cw) of the arterial system were obtained. The psychological data were obtained by validated questionnaires.Results: After correction for body mass index, the SBP of the White children was significantly higher (p > .05) than the SBP of the other ethnic groups. The DBP showed no significant differences. The TPR measurements of the Black and colored children were significantly higher (p > .05) than the TPR of the White children, and the Cw measurements of the Black and colored children were significantly lower than the Cw of the White children. Significant correlations (p > .05) were found between the SV, CO, TPR, Cw, and the total score on violence in the Black and colored children.Conclusions: There are differences in the resting cardiovascular parameters in the different ethnic groups studied. The higher levels of violence to which the Black and colored children are exposed could alter vascular sensitivity to sympathetic stimulation. This may contribute via the higher αadrenergic sensitivity to the pathogenesis of hypertension in their later lives.

Keywords

Behavioral Medicine Community Violence Total Peripheral Resistance White Child Cardiovascular Parameter 

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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johannes M. van Rooyen
    • 1
  • Alida W. Nienaber
    • 2
  • Hugo W. Huisman
    • 3
  • Aletta E. Schutte
    • 3
  • Nico T. Malan
    • 3
  • Rudolph Schutte
    • 3
  • Leoné Malan
    • 3
  1. 1.School for Physiology Nutrition and Consumer SciencesPotchefstroom UniversitySouth Africa
  2. 2.School for Psychosocial and Behavioral SciencesPotchefstroom UniversitySouth Africa
  3. 3.School for Physiology, Nutrition and Consumer SciencesPotchefstroom UniversitySouth Africa

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