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Cardiovascular Psychiatry and Neurology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 680687, 11 pages
Research Article

Obesity in American Indian and Mexican American Men and Women: Associations with Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Autonomic Control

1Department of Molecular & Cellular Neuroscience, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, TPC-32, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
2Stroke Center and Division of Neurology, Green Hospital, Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
3Department of Molecular & Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA

Received 16 May 2013; Revised 8 July 2013; Accepted 16 July 2013

Academic Editor: Kate Scott

Copyright © 2013 José R. Criado et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Obesity is a serious public health problem, especially in some minority communities, and it has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. While obesity is a serious health concern in both American Indian and Mexican American populations, the relationship between obesity and cardiac autonomic control in these two populations is not well understood. The present study in a selected sample of American Indians and Mexican Americans assessed associations between obesity, blood pressure (BP), and cardiovascular autonomic control. Cardiovascular autonomic control, systolic and diastolic mean BP, and body mass index were obtained from one hundred thirty-two American Indian and Mexican American men and women who are literate in English and are residing legally in San Diego County. Men had a significant greater systolic and diastolic BP and were more likely to develop systolic prehypertension and hypertension than women. Obese participants showed greater mean heart rate (HR) and systolic and diastolic BP than nonobese participants. Obese men also exhibited greater cardiac sympathetic activity and lower cardiovagal control than obese women. These results suggest that obesity and gender differences in cardiovascular autonomic control may contribute to risk for cardiovascular disorders in this sample of American Indians and Mexican Americans.