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Seasonal hematocrit variation and health risks in the adult population of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

Authors Hightower CM, Hightower JD, Vázquez BYS, Intaglietta M

Published 17 November 2009 Volume 2009:5 Pages 1001—1005


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

C Makena Hightower1, Joyce D Hightower2, Beatriz Y Salazar Vázquez1,3, Marcos Intaglietta1

1Department of Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA; 2Group de Reflection, Actions et Etude de Culture, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; 3Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango, Durango, Durango, México

Abstract: Hematocrit (Hct) as an indicator of blood viscosity and mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) were assessed according to the season in adult participants of health screenings conducted throughout Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Data was collected at the end of summer (April) and the end of winter (August) and identified by gender. Male Hcts in August were significantly higher (P < 0.0001) than in April (48.3% ± 4.2% and 45.7% ± 2.3%, respectively) while male MAP (85.0 ± 8.4 mm Hg) was identical to that recorded in April (85.4 ± 7.7 mm Hg). August female Hcts (41.4% ± 3.1%) were statistically higher than those recorded in April (39.6% ± 1.9%, P = 0.001), MAP being 82.3 ± 7.3 vs 87.9 ± 6.6 mm Hg, respectively (P = 0.0001). Systolic and diastolic blood pressures, heart rate, body mass indices, ages, and personal and familial medical histories of the August and April groups were not significantly different. This study offers further support for the assertion that the relationship between blood viscosity and pressure of a healthy population shows that increased Hct, and therefore increased blood viscosity is associated with lowered MAP, and presumably peripheral vascular resistance.

Keywords: blood pressure, African adults, blood viscosity, cardiovascular, shear stress

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