There is increasing evidence that circulatory disease incidence and mortality is associated with radiation exposure. Wake Forest School of Medicine is home to a unique cohort of total-body irradiated macaques, some with evidence of vascular end-organ disease in the brain, kidney and heart. Because there is a link between high blood pressure and vascular disease in all these sites, we undertook a retrospective study to evaluate blood pressure and radiation in this cohort of animals. In this work, we utilized a cohort of nonhuman primates (rhesus macaques, Macaca mulatta) long-term survivors of high-dose total-body irradiation (1.1–8.5 Gy, N = 129) and controls (N = 37) to evaluate the effects of radiation on blood pressure and obesity. Subjects were between 3 and 22 years of age (median 9 years). Blood pressure (BP) was measured 1–14 years postirradiation (median 4 years). Subjects were sedated with a combination of ketamine HCl (15 mg/kg body weight, IM) and midazolam (0.1 mg/kg body weight, IM) and systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressures were measured using a high definition oscillometer. Obesity was defined by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry as a body fat percentage >35%. Statistical analysis of the collected data indicated significant increases in blood pressure with increasing age and obesity. However, radiation did not significantly alter blood pressure in irradiated animals relative to controls, radiation dose, or age of irradiation.

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