Various correlates of blood pressure (BP) and resting heart rate (HR) were compared in a study population of 1667 male and 520 female factory employees in Israel. The strong positive association between HR and both diastolic and systolic BP described in other epidemiologic studies was again evident. However, the correlates of HR and BP did not coincide. In multiple regression analyses age was found to be positively associated with BP in both sexes, whereas it was only moderately associated with HR in males and inversely associated with HR in females. Relative weight was positively associated with BP in both sexes but its association with HR was linear in young males and older females and U- or J-shaped in the other sub-groups. Cigarette smoking was inversely associated with diastolic BP in several subgroups but was positively associated with HR in most sub-groups. Ethnic-related variations in blood pressure, where found, did not parallel any differences in HR and in one group they were contradictory. The inconsistencies in the correlates of HR and blood pressure may reflect different mechanisms by which certain factors influence BP with varying effects on the HR.
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