Migration-induced changes in blood pressure: a controlled longitudinal study

Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. May-Jun 1985;12(3):211-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1681.1985.tb02633.x.


A longitudinal study of the effects of migration on blood pressure and related factors is being carried out in members of a black Kenyan population who migrate from a traditional rural community to an urban environment. Data on the first 139 migrants (78 male, 61 female) and 204 control non-migrants (126 male, 78 female) who have been followed up for a period of 6 months are presented. Blood pressure changes rapidly on migration (within the first 2 months); thereafter trends between migrants and controls differ. Significant differences in systolic pressure between migrants and controls are found at all examinations during the 6 month follow-up in both sexes. Diastolic pressure falls in controls but rises in migrants, the greatest difference being seen at the 6 month examination. Migration is associated with a marked increase in dietary sodium and a fall in potassium demonstrated by measurements of urinary electrolyte excretion in 3 X 12 h or 3 X 24 h urine collections. Analysis of covariance shows that the blood pressure differences between migrants and controls are partly explained by urinary sodium/potassium ratios and in some instances by body weight.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure*
  • Body Weight
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kenya
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Potassium / urine
  • Sodium / urine
  • Transients and Migrants*


  • Sodium
  • Potassium