This study investigated associations of brachial and central blood pressure (BP) with detailed renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) components in a healthy young population stratified according to ethnicity and sex. We included healthy black men (n = 285) and women (n = 304) and white men (n = 278) and women (n = 305) aged 20-30 years old. We derived central systolic BP (cSBP), measured clinic and 24-h systolic and diastolic BP. Aldosterone and equilibrium angiotensin levels were assessed and used for calculating angiotensin-derived markers for plasma renin activity (PRA-S, Angiotensin I + Angiotensin II), angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE-S, Angiotensin II/Angiotensin I), and two markers for adrenal effects of angiotensin II, the aldosterone-to-renin ratio (ARR-S, Aldosterone/PRA-S) and the aldosterone-to-angiotensin II-ratio (AA2-R, Aldosterone/Angiotensin II). Young black men and women presented with lower RAAS components and higher cSBP compared to their white counterparts (all p ≤ 0.001). In multivariable-adjusted regression analyses, positive associations of cSBP with ARR-S and AA2-R and negative associations with PRA-S and angiotensin II were found for black women (all p ≤ 0.001); this pattern was also observed for 24-h and clinic BP (p ≤ 0.045). A similar trend of RAAS associations was present in black men but only for clinic BP (all p ≤ 0.047). In white men, negative associations between clinic SBP and PRA-S, angiotensin II and aldosterone were detected (all p ≤ 0.048). No associations were observed in white women. Positive associations of central and peripheral BP with the ratio of aldosterone to PRA-S and angiotensin II only in healthy, young black adults suggest that relative aldosterone excess may contribute to early hypertension development in this group.
Keywords: African; Aldosterone; Angiotensin II; Black; Central systolic blood pressure; Renin.