Black individuals exhibit increased blood pressure (BP) responses to sympathetic stimulation that are associated with an increased risk of hypertension (HTN). We tested the hypothesis that α1-adrenergic blockade inhibits the increased BP response during and after 45-min stress in young normotensive Black adults, which may be mediated, in part, by dampened vasoconstriction and decreased renal sodium retention. Utilizing a double-masked randomized, crossover study design, 51 normotensive Black adults (31 ± 8 yr) were treated with either a placebo or 1 mg/day of prazosin for 1 week. On the final day of each treatment, hemodynamic measures and urinary sodium excretion (UNaV) were collected before (Rest), during (Stress) and after (Recovery) 45 min of mental stress induced via a competitive video game task. During the Stress period, diastolic BP and total peripheral resistance (TPR) were significantly lower with prazosin compared to placebo (p <.05 for both). Similarly, we observed lower systolic BP, diastolic BP, and TPR during the Recovery period with prazosin versus placebo (p <.05 for both). There was no effect of prazosin on stress-associated UNaV. The change in systolic BP from Rest to Recovery was positively associated with the change in TPR with both treatments (p <.05 for both). In summary, prazosin treatment dampened BP reactivity to 45-min mental stress and lowered post-stress BP over the recovery period, which was linked to reduce TPR in young normotensive Black adults. These results suggest that α1-adrenergic receptor activity may contribute to BP responses and delayed BP recovery to prolonged mental stress through increased vasoconstriction in Black adults.
- Mental Stress
- α-Adrenergic Receptor Blocker
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)