Ecological and sociodemographic effects on urinary catecholamine excretion in adult Samoans

Meredith R. Bergey, Matthew S. Steele, David A. Bereiter, Satupaitea Viali, Stephen T. McGarvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Ecological and sociodemographic correlates of stress may contribute to cardiovascular disease risk in modernizing Samoans. Aim: The effects of peri-urban vs rural residence, education, occupation, caffeine intake and cigarette consumption on urinary catecholamine excretion were studied in Samoan adults. Subjects and methods: Five hundred and seven participants, aged 29-69 years, were randomly selected from nine villages throughout Samoa. Sociodemographic and lifestyle factors were assessed by questionnaire. Epinephrine and norepinephrine excretion rates were measured by high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection in overnight urine samples. Age (≤40 vs >40 years) and gender-specific regression models were estimated to detect associations with BMI-adjusted catecholamine excretion. Results: Norepinephrine was significantly higher in peri-urban young men and older women. Epinephrine was significantly higher in peri-urban older men. Adjustment for caffeine attenuated the relationship between residence and norepinephrine in young women. Conclusion: General residential exposure to modernization in urban villages is a significant correlate of increased overnight catecholamine excretion rates and is consistent with past studies. Caffeine consumption in younger women plays a complex role in stress-related catecholamine excretion. Further studies of individual level attitudinal and behavioural factors in Samoans are needed to understand psychosocial stress, physiologic arousal and health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Human Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
NIH Grants AG09375, HL52611, DK59406, DK59642 provided financial support for this work. We thank the personnel of the Department of Health of Samoa, the village political officials, and women’s health committees for their permission and assistance, as well as the participants for their patience and help in this study.


  • Epinephrine
  • Norepinephrine
  • Psychosocial stress
  • Samoans


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