Rapid communication: PDF OnlyDisparate effects of mental stress on plasma noradrenaline in young normotensive and hypertensive subjectsLenders, Jacques W.M.; Willemsen, Jacques J.; de Boo, Theo; Lemmens, Wim A.J.; Thien, Theo Author Information From the Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Experimental and Chemical Endocrinology, Department of Statistical Consultation, University Hospital Nijmegen, The Netherlands. J.W.M. Lenders, Department of Medicine, University Hospital, Geert Grooteplein Zuid 8, 6525 GA Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Journal of Hypertension 7(4):p 317-324, April 1989. Buy Abstract The response of blood pressure, heart rate and plasma catecholamines to a mental arithmetic and a cold pressor test was studied in 70 patients with mild essential hypertension and in 41 age- and sex-matched normotensives. Each group consisted of three prospectively stratified age classes: 20–29, 30–39 and 40–55 years. During mental arithmetic, hypertensives showed only a higher increment of systolic blood pressure (±17–19%) than normotensives (±12–15%). Plasma noradrenaline in the youngest normotensives (20–29 years) showed a small but significant decrease (–0.20 ± 0.07nmol/l) whereas the youngest hypertensives showed a small but significant increase of plasma noradrenaline (±0.14 ± 0.04nmol/l). The difference between both groups was highly significant (P < 0.001). In the two older age classes there was no difference in plasma noradrenaline response between normo- and hypertensives. During the cold pressor test both the cardiovascular and plasma noradrenaline response were of the same magnitude in normo- and hypertensives. These data reinforce the concept that the increased sympathetic reactivity to mental stress in hypertensives may be restricted to the younger age. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.