A "gender blind" relationship of lean body mass and blood pressure in the Tecumseh study

Stevo Julius, Silja Majahalme, Shawna Nesbitt, Eric Grant, Niko Kaciroti, Hernando Ombao, Olga Vriz, Maria Consuelo Valentini, John Amerena, Lillian Gleiberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Body size correlates positively with blood pressure (BP) but there is controversy about the roles of obesity versus muscularity in this relationship. Methods: We examined the BP relationship with overweight lean body mass (LBM), and muscle performance in 231 adolescents (17.25 ± 3.07 years, 123 males). The skinfold thickness (SKINT) was used to measure overweight, as this was a growing population. Results: Maximal foot torque, a measure of muscle strength, correlated strongly (r = 0.51, P < .001) to LBM attesting to the validity of the calculated LBM. Anthropometric measurements were available also in 944 adults (29.9 ± 5.5 years, 461 men). Correlations of LBM to systolic (adolescents r = 0.52, adults r = 0.19, both P < .001) and diastolic (adolescents r = 0.47, adults r = 0.20, both P < .001) BP were highly significant. SKINT also correlated significantly to systolic and diastolic BP in adolescents and in adults, respectively. In both genders and populations an increasing SKINT was associated with a similar increase in BP, but this effect was superimposed on an average 10 mm Hg between-gender BP difference. The LBM in both groups and genders related to the BP in an identical fashion; the men were on the high and the women on the low end of the same BP/LBM correlation line. Thus, the amount of LBM erased categoric BP differences between the genders. Conclusions: The gender-related BP differences appear to reflect the inherent gender differences in muscle bulk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-263
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


  • Blood pressure
  • Gender differences
  • Lean body mass
  • Overweight dual-energy x-ray absorbimetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'A "gender blind" relationship of lean body mass and blood pressure in the Tecumseh study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this