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


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.


Behavioral Medicine Community Violence Total Peripheral Resistance White Child Cardiovascular Parameter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. (1).
    Statistics South Africa 2000 [Online]. Retrieved September 10, 2001, from 2000/po302.htmGoogle Scholar
  2. (2).
    Seedat YK: Hypertension in black South Africans.Journal of Human Hypertension. 1999,13:97–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. (3).
    Van Rooyen JM, Kruger HS, Huisman HW, et al.: An epidemiological study of hypertension and its determinants in a population in transition: The THUSA study.Journal of Human Hypertension. 2000,14:779–787.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. (4).
    Steyn K, Jooste PL, Fourie JM, Parry CD, Rossouw JE: Hypertension in the colored population in the Cape Peninsula.South African Medical Journal. 1986,69:165–169.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. (5).
    Joint National Committee: The fifth report of the Joint National Committee on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.Archives of Internal Medicine. 1993,153:154–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. (6).
    Sinaiko AR, Gillum RF, Jacobs Jr. DR, Sopko G, Prineas RJ: Renin-angiotensin and sympathetic nervous system activity in grade school children.Hypertension. 1982,4:299–306.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. (7).
    Sinaiko AR, Gomez-Marin O, Prineas RJ: Prevalence of “significant” hypertension in junior high school-aged children: The Children and Adolescent Blood Pressure Program.The Journal of Pediatrics. 1989,114:664–669.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. (8).
    Lauer RM, Clarke WR: Childhood risk factors for adult blood pressure: The Muscatine Study.Pediatrics. 1984,84:633–641.Google Scholar
  9. (9).
    Alpert BS, Fox ME: Racial aspects of blood pressure in children and adolescents.Pediatric Clinics of North America. 1993,40:13–22.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. (10).
    Webber LS, Harsha DW, Phillips GT, et al.: Cardiovascular risk factors in Hispanic, white and black children: The Brooks County and Bogalusa Heart Studies.American Journal of Epidemiology. 1991,133:704–714.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. (11).
    Bao W, Threefoot SA, Srinivasan SR, Berenson GS: Essential hypertension predicted by tracking of elevated blood pressure from childhood to adulthood: The Bogalusa Heart Study.American Journal of Hypertension. 1995,8(7):657–665.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. (12).
    Dekkers CJ, Snieder H, van den Oord EJCG, Treiber FA: Moderators of blood pressure development from childhood to adulthood: A 10-year longitudinal study.The Journal of Pediatrics. 2002,141(6):770–779.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. (13).
    Park MK, Menard SW, Yuan C: Comparison of blood pressure in children from three ethnic groups.American Journal of Cardiology. 2001,87:1305–1308.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. (14).
    Hohn AR, Dwyer KM, Dwyer JH: Blood pressure in youth from four ethnic groups: The Pasadina Prevention Project.The Journal of Pediatrics. 1994,125:368–373.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. (15).
    Anderson NB, McNeilly M: Autonomic reactivity and hypertension in blacks: Toward a contextual model. In Fray JCS, Douglas JG (eds),Pathophysiology of Hypertension in Blacks. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1993, 107–139.Google Scholar
  16. (16).
    Van Rooyen JM, Huisman HW, Eloff FC, et al.: Cardiovascular reactivity in black South African males of different age groups: The influence of urbanization.Ethnicity & Disease. 2002,12(1):69–75.Google Scholar
  17. (17).
    Du Plessis W: More measures, more violence.South African Public Law. 1998,13(2):489–501.Google Scholar
  18. (18).
    Pelser A, De Kock C: Violence in South Africa: A note on some trends in the 1990s.Acta Criminologica. 2000,13(1):80–94.Google Scholar
  19. (19).
    Turton RW, Straker G, Moosa F: Experience of violence in the lives of township youths in “unrest” and “normal” conditions.South African Journal of Psychology. 1991,21(2):77–84.Google Scholar
  20. (20).
    Margolin G, Gordis EB: The effects of family and community violence on children.Annual Review of Psychology. 2000,51:445–479.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. (21).
    Overstreet S: Exposure to community violence: Defining the problem and understanding the consequences.Journal of Child and Family Studies. 2000,9(1):7–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. (22).
    Cooley MR, Turner SM, Beidel DC: Assessing Community Violence: The children’s report of exposure to violence.Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 1995,34(2):201–208.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. (23).
    World Health Organization: International Society of Hypertension Guidelines for the Management of Hypertension.Journal of Hypertension. 1999,17:151–183.Google Scholar
  24. (24).
    Wesseling KH, Settels JJ, De Wit B: The measurement of continuous finger arterial pressure noninvasively in stationary subjects. In Schmidt TH, Dembroski TM, Blümchen G (eds),Biological factors in cardiovascular disease. Berlin: Springer, 1986, 355–375.Google Scholar
  25. (25).
    Silke B, McAuley D: Accuracy and precision of blood pressure determination with the Finapres: An overview using resampling statistics.Journal of Human Hypertension. 1998,12:403–409.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. (26).
    Wesseling KH, Jansen JRC, Settels JJ, Schreuder JJ: Computation of aortic flow from pressure in humans using a nonlinear, three-element model.Journal of Applied Physiology. 1993,75:2566–2573.Google Scholar
  27. (27).
    McAuley D, Silke B, Farrel S: Reliability of blood pressure determination with the Finapres with altered physiological states or pharmacodynamic conditions.Clinical Autonomic Research. 1997,7:179–184.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. (28).
    Langewouters GJ, Settels JJ, Roelandt R, Wesseling KH: Why use Finapres or Portapres rather than intra-arterial or intermittent non-invasive techniques of blood pressure measurement?Journal of Medical Engineering & Technology. 1998,22:37–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. (29).
    Imholz BPM, Wieling W, Van Montfrans GA, Wesseling KH: Fifteen years experience with finger arterial pressure monitoring: Assessment of the technology.Cardiovascular Research. 1998,38:605–616.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. (30).
    Harms MPM, Wesseling KH, Pott F, et al.: Continuous stroke volume monitoring by modeling flow from non-invasive measurement of arterial pressure in humans under orthostatic stress.Clinical Science. 1999,97:291–301.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. (31).
    Richters JE, Martinez P:Things I have seen and heard: An interview for young children about exposure to violence. Bethedsa, MD: National Institute of Mental Health, 1990.Google Scholar
  32. (32).
    Kovacs M:Children’s Depression Inventory. New York: Multi-Health Systems, Inc., 1985.Google Scholar
  33. (33).
    Kammann R, Flett R: Affectometer 2: A scale to measure current levels of general happiness.Austrian Journal of Psychiatry. 1983,35(2):259–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. (34).
    Patterson JM, McCubbin HI: Adolescent coping style and behaviors: Conceptualization and measurement.Journal of Adolescence. 1987,10:163–186.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. (35).
    Moos RH:CRI-Y: Manual for the Coping Responses Inventory-Youth form. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc., 1993.Google Scholar
  36. (36).
    Carver CS, Scheier MF,Weintraub JK: Assessing coping strategies: A theoretically based approach.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1989,56:267–283.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. (37).
    Lang CC, Stein CM, He HB, et al.: Blunted blood pressure response to central sympatho inhibition in normotensive blacks.Hypertension. 1997,30:157–162.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. (38).
    Mills PJ, Dimsdale JE, Ziegler MG, Nelesen RA: Racial differences in epinephrine and β2-adrenergic receptors.Hypertension. 1995,25:88–91.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. (39).
    Calhoun DA: Hypertension in blacks: Socioeconomic stress and sympathetic nervous system activity.The American Journal of the Medical Sciences. 1992,304(5):306–311.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. (40).
    Stein CM, Lang CC, Singh I, He HB, Wood AJJ: Increased vascular adrenergic vasoconstriction and decreased vasodilatation in blacks.Hypertension. 2000,36:945–951.PubMedGoogle Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations