Ethnic disparity in defensive coping endothelial responses: The SABPA study

Scheepers, Jacobus De Wet; Malan, Leoné; De Kock, Andrea; Malan, Nicolaas Theodor; Cockeran, Marike; von Känel, Roland (2015). Ethnic disparity in defensive coping endothelial responses: The SABPA study. Physiology & behavior, 147, pp. 306-312. Elsevier 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.05.002

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OBJECTIVES Defensive coping (DefS) in Blacks has been associated with greater cardiovascular risk than in their White counterparts. We examined associations between endothelial function mental stress responses and markers of vascular structure in a bi-ethnic cohort. METHODS We examined vascular function and structure in 368 Black (43.84±8.31years) and White Africans (44.78±10.90years). Fasting blood samples, 24h blood pressure, left carotid intima-media thickness of the far wall (L-CIMTf), and left carotid cross-sectional wall area (L-CSWA) values were obtained. von Willebrand factor (VWF), endothelin-1 (ET-1) and nitric oxide metabolite (NOx) responses to the Stroop mental stress test were calculated to assess endothelial function. DefS was assessed using the Coping Strategy Indicator questionnaire. Interaction between main effects was demonstrated for 283 participants with DefS scores above the mean of 26 for L-CIMTf. RESULTS Blunted stress responses for VWF (men 16.71% vs. 51.10%; women 0.85% vs. 42.09%, respectively) and NOx (men -64.52% vs. 74.89%; women -76.16% vs. 113.29%, respectively) were evident in the DefS Blacks compared to the DefS Whites (p<0.001). ET-1 increased more in Blacks (men 150% and women 227%, p<0.001) compared to the Whites (men 61.25% and women 35.49%, p<0.001). Ambulatory pulse pressure, but not endothelial function markers, contributed to L-CIMTf (ΔR(2)=0.11 p<0.001), and L-CSWA (ΔR(2)=0.08, p<0.001) in DefS African men but not in any other group. CONCLUSIONS Blunted stress-induced NOx and VWF responses and augmented ET-1 responses in DefS Blacks indicate endothelial dysfunction. DefS may facilitate disturbed endothelial responses and enforce vascular remodelling via compensatory increases in pulse pressure in Black men. These observations may indicate an increased risk of cardiovascular incidents via functional and structural changes of the vasculature in DefS Blacks.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > DCR Unit Sahli Building > Forschungsgruppe Neurologie

UniBE Contributor:

von Känel, Roland


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Romina Theiler

Date Deposited:

16 Mar 2016 14:02

Last Modified:

02 May 2016 10:52

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Coping; Endothelial dysfunction; Endothelin-1; Nitric oxide; von Willebrand factor vascular remodelling




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