The effect of aging on blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) was investigated in a cross-sectional study in the high-altitude community of Leh, Ladakh (altitude: 3524 m) and a Japanese community in U town, Hokkaido (altitude: 25 m). BP and HR were obtained in a sitting position from 332 subjects 13-81 years of age in Ladakh, and from 216 Japanese citizens, 24-79 years of age. Measurements were taken after a 2-min rest, using a semi-automated BP device (UA-767 PC, A&D Co. LTD, Tokyo). High-altitude people showed higher diastolic BP and HR values than lowland people (83.2 vs. 76.9 mmHg and 78.6 vs. 69.2 bpm, P < 0.001), but no difference in systolic BP. Highland people also showed a steeper BP increase with age than the lowland people (systolic BP: 0.7476 vs. 0.3179 mmHg/year, P < 0.0005; diastolic BP: 0.3196 vs. 0.0750 mmHg/year, P < 0.001). This chronoecologic investigation in Ladakh examined the circulation as a physiological system at high-altitude. Our data indicate the need for a more comprehensive cardiovascular assessment for a better diagnosis and a more fruitful treatment. Longitudinal observations of effects of socio-ecologic factors on the cardiovascular system should help prevent strokes and other cardiovascular events, especially at high altitude.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by Fukuda Foundation for Medical (Grant in 2004 for the study on association between arterial stiffness and cognitive impairment in community-dwelling subjects over 70 years-old).
- Blood pressure
- Comprehensive cardiovascular assessment
- High-altitude community