1. Cardiac output at rest, intra-arterial blood pressure and hand blood flow at maximal vasodilatation were studied in two groups of 18–25-year-old men: forty-four with mild blood pressure elevation were referred from a military enlistment centre, and twenty-nine normotensive volunteers were mainly recruited from the same enlistment centre.
2. The study group was characterized by a significantly higher cardiac index at rest, and a significantly higher blood flow resistance in the hand at maximal vasodilatation than the control group, indicating the presence of structural modifications in the resistance vessels of patients with mild blood pressure elevation.
3. The tendency to increased vascular resistance in the blood vessels of the hand at maximal vasodilatation was more pronounced in patients with a normal cardiac index than in those with a high index. This suggests inclusion in the study group of tense, anxious individuals with an elevated cardiac index but otherwise normal circulation, but does not exclude the possibility that these patients may develop structural changes later on.