Blood Pressure in Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert
The blood pressure was studied in 42 males and 36 females in 2 groups of nomadic Bushmen, living near Ghanzi in the Kalahari Desert, as well as in a third group of 21 Bushmen prisoners and farm laborers from the same region. The pressures were also "corrected" for arm girth.
The average systolic pressures were 108.4 mm. Hg (S.D. 11.4) for men and 112.8 mm. Hg (S.D. 14.6) for women. The average diastolic pressures were 66.2 mm. Hg (S.D. 6.9) and 69.6 mm. Hg (S.D. 8.0) for men and women, respectively. These pressures with stated exception, are considered to be lower than for most populations.
In the women, the systolic and diastolic pressures were higher than those in the men.
The blood pressure showed no tendency to rise with age, an observation in contrast to that found in most other populations. It was suggested that an increase of the blood pressure with age may be an indication of the existence of essential hypertension within that population.
The blood pressures of Bushmen prisoners and farm laborers were higher than those in nomadic Bushmen.
Further investigation is needed of the genetic and environmental factors affecting the blood pressure in the nomadic Bushmen.
- © 1960 American Heart Association, Inc.