Thumbnail Image

Effects of age, ethnicity and menopause on ambulatory blood pressure: Japanese-American and Caucasian school teachers in Hawaii

Ambulatory blood pressure (BP) measurements of 120 female teachers of Japanese-American or Caucasian ethnicity working in public schools located in Hilo, Hawaii, were recorded. BP was measured at 15-min intervals during waking hours and 30-min intervals during sleep over a 24-hr period that included a full work day. These measurements were averaged during three daily settings: at work, at home while awake (“home”), and during sleep. ANCOVAs using ethnicity as a predictor variable of BP, with age and the body mass index (BMI) as covariates, show a significant interaction effect between age and ethnicity in some daily settings. Among Japanese-Americans partial correlations between age and systolic BP controlling for the BMI are significant in these settings, while among Caucasians none of the correlations are significant. Menopausal status is not significantly related to BP when age is controlled in analyses. There was no significant ethnic difference in number of symptoms reported, including frequency of “hot flushes/flashes,” within the past two weeks. Those who reported hot flushes had significantly elevated BP in waking settings but not during sleep. The greater increase in BP with age in Japanese-Americans may be related to their elevated risk for development of hypertension. The lack of a significant relationship between menopausal status and BP may be due to the high rate of usage of hormonal replacement therapy in this sample, as well as an unusually high rate of hysterectomy.