Prospective associations between cardiac stress, glucose dysregulation and executive cognitive function in Black men: The Sympathetic activity and Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Africans study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: Glucose dysregulation is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disease development through synaptic dysfunction resulting in cognitive decline. The aim of this study was to study the interplay between impaired glycaemic metabolism (hyperglycaemia and insulin resistance), cardiac stress (cardiac troponin T and N-terminal brain natriuretic peptide) and executive cognitive function prospectively, in a bi-ethnic sex cohort. Methods: Black and White teachers (N = 338, aged 20–63 years) from the Sympathetic activity and Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Africans study were monitored over a 3-year period. Fasting blood samples were obtained for cardiac troponin T, N-terminal brain natriuretic peptide, glycated haemoglobin and the homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance for insulin resistance. The Stroop colour-word conflict test was applied to assess executive cognitive function at baseline. Results: Over the 3-year period, Black men revealed constant high levels of cardiac troponin T (⩾4.2 ng/L), pre-diabetes (glycated haemoglobin > 5.7%) and insulin resistance (homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance >3). %Δ Glycated haemoglobin was associated with %Δ insulin resistance (p < 0.001) and increases in %ΔN-terminal brain natriuretic peptide (p = 0.02) in Black men only. In the latter, baseline Stroop colour-word conflict test was inversely associated with %Δ cardiac troponin T (p = 0.001) and %Δ insulin resistance levels (p = 0.01). Conclusion: Progressive myocyte stretch and chronic myocyte injury, coupled with glucose dysregulation, may interfere with processes related to interference control in Black men.


  • Esmé Jansen van Vuren
  • Leoné Malan
  • Roland von Känel
  • Martin Magnusson
  • Leandi Lammertyn
  • Nicolaas T. Malan
External organisations
  • North-West University
  • University Hospital of Zurich
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


  • cardiac troponin, cognition, hyperglycaemia, insulin resistance, N-terminal brain natriuretic peptide
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-243
JournalDiabetes and Vascular Disease Research
Issue number3
Early online date2018 Dec 17
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch