Background: High uric acid (UA) is associated with hypertension and cardiovascular disease (CVD), both of which occur disproportionately among African Americans. High UA also predicts greater blood pressure reactivity responses to acute social stress. However, whether UA itself shows reactivity in response to stress is unknown. We evaluated salivary uric acid (sUA) and blood pressure reactivity in response to acute social stress. Healthy African Americans (N = 103; 32% male; M age = 31.36 years), completed the Trier Social Stress Test. sUA and blood pressure measurements were taken before, during and after the stressor task. sUA showed significant reactivity and recovery, especially among older African Americans. Total sUA activation was also associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure total activation. Findings illuminate that acute stress may be a way in which UA is implicated in hypertension and CVD, suggesting a critical need to explore UA reactivity as a novel parameter of the acute stress response.
Background: Low birth weight in term-born individuals correlates with adverse cardiometabolic outcomes; excess glucocorticoid exposure has been linked to these relationships. We hypothesized that cortisol and adrenal androgens would correlate inversely with birthweight and directly with markers of cardiometabolic risk in school-aged children born extremely preterm; further, preterm-born would have increased cortisol and adrenal androgens compared to term-born children.
Methods: Saliva samples were obtained at age 6 from 219 preterm-born children followed since birth and 40 term-born children and analyzed for dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and cortisol. Cortisol was also measured at home (awakening, 30′ later, evening).
Results: For preterm-born children, cortisol and DHEA correlated inversely with weight and length Z-scores at 36 weeks PMA and positively with systolic BP. DHEA was higher in preterm-born than term-born children (boys p < 0.01; girls p = 0.04). Cortisol was similar between preterm-born and term-born at study visit; however, preterm-born children showed a blunted morning cortisol. In term-born children, DHEA correlated with BMI (p = 0.04), subscapular, and abdominal skinfold thicknesses (both p < 0.01).
Conclusion: Cortisol and DHEA correlated inversely with early postnatal growth and directly with systolic BP in extremely preterm-born children, suggesting perinatal programming. Blunted morning cortisol may reflect NICU stress, as seen after other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
High levels of uric acid are associated with greater risk of stress-related cardiovascular illnesses that occur disproportionately among African Americans. Whether hyperuricemia affects biological response to acute stress remains largely unknown, suggesting a need to clarify this potential connection. The current study examined how salivary uric acid (sUA) is associated with resting and reactive blood pressure – two robust predictors of hypertension and related cardiovascular disease and disparity. Healthy African Americans (N = 107; 32% male; M age = 31.74 years), completed the Trier Social Stress Test to induce social-evaluative stress. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings were recorded before, during, and after the task to assess resting and reactive change in blood pressure. Participants also provided a saliva sample at baseline that was assayed for sUA. At rest, and controlling for age, sUA was modestly associated with higher systolic (r = .201, p = .044), but not diastolic (r = .100, p = .319) blood pressure. In response to the stressor task, and once again controlling for age, sUA was also associated with higher total activation of both systolic (r = .219, p = .025) and diastolic blood pressure (r = .198, p < .044). A subsequent moderation analysis showed that associations between sUA and BP measures were significant for females, but not for males. Findings suggest that uric acid may be implicated in hypertension and cardiovascular health disparities through associations with elevated blood pressure responses to acute social stress, and that low levels of uric acid might be protective, particularly for females.
Background: Adversity experienced early in life has the potential to influence physical health later in life. The stress-health relation may be partially explained by stress-related effects on cardiovascular risk factors. This study explored links between individual differences in trait-like variation in the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis with cardiovascular risk factors in children. 474 children (M age=9.22years; 54% female; 83% Caucasian) were included in this study, in which cardiovascular risk was assessed using the following indices – triglycerides (TG), HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C), glucose (Glu); resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio, and % fat. Saliva samples were measured 3 times a day (waking, 30min post-waking and bedtime) over 3days (later assayed for cortisol). A latent trait cortisol (LTC) factor explained 43% of the variance in cortisol levels within and across days. Confirmatory factor analysis identified three cardiovascular risk factors: lipids (i.e., TG and HDL-C), blood pressure (i.e., systolic and diastolic), and body composition (i.e., BMI, Waist-to-hip ratio, and % fat). Lower salivary LTC was associated with higher lipids, higher blood pressure, and higher body composition. The findings further support the internal and external validity of the LTC construct, and may also advance our understanding of the link between interindividual differences in HPA axis activity and cardiovascular risk in middle childhood.