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Age- and sex-related differences in vascular function and vascular response to mental stress. Longitudinal and cross-sectional studies in a cohort of healthy children and adolescents
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. (Biologisk psykologi och behandlingsforskning)
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2012 (English)In: Atherosclerosis, ISSN 0021-9150, E-ISSN 1879-1484, Vol. 220, no 1, 269-274 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE: Limited data, especially from longitudinal studies, are available regarding vascular health assessment in childhood. In this study, we performed longitudinal and cross-sectional studies in healthy children and adolescents to investigate age- and sex-related differences in vascular functions and vascular response to mental stress.

METHODS: Pulse wave velocity (PWV) was measured by tonometry. Endothelial function and vascular response to mental arithmetic test were assessed using a peripheral artery tonometry device. Data were obtained in 162 adolescents (mean age of 17 years, 94 girls) in a 3-year follow-up study and 241 children (mean age of 10 years, 115 girls) in a first-time investigation. Physical activity was assessed in adolescents by a self-report questionnaire.

RESULTS: Our 3-year follow-up study revealed that the increased PWV was greater in male adolescents (0.79±0.79m/s) than in females (0.27±0.89m/s, p<0.001). Adolescents who reported decreased physical activity over the 3-year period had increased arterial stiffness. Comparing the cross-sectional data, we found that sex-related differences in reactive hyperemic response was more apparent by evaluating the overall response curve than measuring the reactive hyperemic index from one arbitrary time point, with lower peak response and smaller area-under-curve found in boys. Moreover, we found that, in response to mental stress, male adolescents had a more vasoconstrictive response, followed by a less vasodilatory response, and needed longer time to return to baseline level than the females.

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that boys are likely to have adverse changes in vascular health earlier than the age-matched girls.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2012. Vol. 220, no 1, 269-274 p.
Keyword [en]
Pulse wave velocity, Endothelial function, Mental stress, Physical activity, Children and adolescence
National Category
Other Medical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-82075DOI: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2011.10.030PubMedID: 22078247Local ID: P2941OAI: diva2:565364
Available from: 2012-11-07 Created: 2012-11-07 Last updated: 2013-01-08Bibliographically approved

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Osika, Walter
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