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Cardiovascular reactivity to stress and α-adrenergic receptor (α-AR) function may contribute to the development of hypertension. As Black Americans have an increased risk of hypertension, we evaluated associations between α(1A) -AR (Arg492Cys), α(2A) -AR (-1291C/G), and α(2B) -AR (Ins/Del301-303) gene variants and cardiovascular reactivity in 500 normotensive Black youth. Heart rate, preejection period, total peripheral resistance, and blood pressure were measured during cold and psychological stress. The Arg492Cys polymorphism in the α(1A) -AR gene was associated with heart rate reactivity to stress, but the association depended on sex. The -1291C/G promoter polymorphism in the α(2A) -AR gene was associated with vascular reactivity to stress; vasoconstriction increased as a linear function of the number of copies of the variant G allele. Thus, specific associations emerged between genetic variations in α-Ars and cardiovascular reactivity in young Blacks. Copyright © 2011 Society for Psychophysiological Research.


Robert M Kelsey, Bruce S Alpert, Mary K Dahmer, Julia Krushkal, Michael W Quasney. Alpha-adrenergic receptor gene polymorphisms and cardiovascular reactivity to stress in Black adolescents and young adults. Psychophysiology. 2012 Mar;49(3):401-12

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PMID: 22091949

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