Effect of aging on blood pressure in Leh, Ladakh, a high-altitude (3524 m) community, by comparison with a Japanese town

K. Otsuka, T. Norboo, Y. Otsuka, H. Higuchi, M. Hayajiri, C. Narushima, Y. Sato, T. Tsugoshi, S. Murakami, T. Wada, M. Ishine, K. Okumiya, K. Matsubayashi, S. Yano, T. Choygal, D. Angchuk, K. Ichihara, G. Cornélissen, F. Halberg

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24 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S54-S57
JournalBiomedicine and Pharmacotherapy
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Oct 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding 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).


  • Aging
  • Blood pressure
  • Comprehensive cardiovascular assessment
  • High-altitude community


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