Psychosocial stress relating to an urban environment or acculturation increases the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS). The objectives of this study were firstly to indicate and compare differences regarding appraisal of stress or active coping responses in urban African (n=88) and Caucasian (n=101) male teachers of South Africa, in accord with the prevalence of MetS indicators. And secondly to investigate the extent to which utilisation of active coping responses, together with MetS indicators, predict target organ damage, in these men.
The Coping Strategy Indicator determined high and low active coping responses in male teachers from the Sympathetic Activity and Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Africans (SABPA) study. SABPA inclusion and exclusion criteria were used. Additionally, diabetic medication
users (n=8), and participants with renal impairment (n=2) or HIV positive (n=13), were excluded. MetS indicators included glucose, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference, independent of confounders (age, physical activity,
gamma glutamyl transferase). Microalbuminuria and carotid intima-media thickness indicated target organ damage. More MetS indicators exceeded the IDF cut-off points in high active coping African men (14.71%) than in their Caucasian counterparts (3.33%), as determined from χ² analyses. Furthermore, stepwise regressions indicated that more MetS indicators
predicted endothelial dysfunction, especially in the high active coping African men. High active coping African men showed more manifestation of MetS, compared to their Caucasian counterparts, and revealed progress towards endothelial dysfunction.