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High hormone levels put young black males at risk for cardiovascular disease
Date:12/7/2012

produced by the adrenal gland, is part of a renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system that helps the body regulate blood pressure and sodium retention. Aldosterone acts on the kidneys, prompting them to hold onto sodium which increases blood pressure. While that can be an asset in some finite scenarios, such as having limited access to water over an extended period, it can become a major health liability in the everyday world where you can consume a day's sodium requirement in single pack of crackers, Murro said.

Each of the other subgroups of young, healthy individuals actually showed some negative impact from higher aldosterone. In white and black females, it correlated with higher baseline blood pressures. In fact, white females had the highest aldosterone levels. In white males, it correlated with reduced sodium excretion. "It was more like we had a piece of the puzzle but not the whole puzzle like we did in the black males," Murro said.

Still, all the findings were concerning, Harshfield said. "This is a normal, healthy group of young people and we are already seeing these associations."

Interestingly, only 16 of the study participants were obese, and there was no significant correlation between obesity a major contributor to hypertension and heart disease and higher aldosterone.

Similar studies are needed in hypertensive youth or those with a family history of high blood pressure to see if their findings hold, the researchers said. One of the newer, more selective aldosterone blockers, eplerenone, has proven more effective than the angiotensin II receptor blocker losartan at treating hypertension in a predominantly black, adult male population. While angiotensin is a precursor for aldosterone, at least one study indicates it's not very effective at directly suppressing aldosterone.

Fewer than half of hypertensive Americans have their blood pressure under control, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@georgiahealth.edu
706-721-4421
Georgia Health Sciences University
Source:Eurekalert  

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