Excess Body Fat Hinders Blood Pressure Control

Published Online: Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Too much body fat can impede the body's ability to control blood pressure following a stressful event. One crucial way that blood pressure is regulated is through natriuresis—the release of salt or sodium chloride in the urine. In the current study, reported recently in the American Journal of Hypertension, the amount of salt released in the urine fell as body fat rose.

The research involved an analysis of body composition and natriuresis in 127 African Americans and Caucasians with an average age of 16 years. The participants were asked to play a competitive video game for an hour. The results of the study showed that stress was connected with an increase in blood pressure and natriuresis. The scale of these changes decreased as body fat went up. Upon further examination, the researchers also found that an individual's race predicted how high the blood pressure increased during stress.

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