Social Discrimination leads to lower nighttime blood pressure, US study shows. Attenuated nocturnal BP dipping is closely linked to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Self-reported experiences of everyday discrimination have also been associated with negative cardiovascular health outcomes.
Hence Lianne Tomfohr, Department of Psychology, and his colleagues in the Universityof California, set out to investigate whether an association exists between
experiences of everyday discrimination and blood pressure (BP)
dipping in a biracial sample of black and white adults.
Seventy-eight hypertensive and normotensive women
and men reported on their experiences
of everyday discrimination and
underwent two separate 24-hour ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM)
sessions approximately 1 week apart.
Correlation analysis revealed that higher endorsement
of everyday discrimination was significantly associated with
less diastolic BP (DBP) and systolic BP (SBP) dipping. Subsequent hierarchical regression analyses indicated
that everyday discrimination explained 8% to 11% of the variance
in SBP and DBP dipping above and beyond other demographic and
life-style-related factors, including race, age, 24-hour BP,
body mass index, and current socioeconomic status. The relationship
between discrimination and dipping was significantly stronger
on the second night of monitoring. Finally, analyses revealed
that everyday discrimination mediated the relationship between
race and BP dipping.
So they concluded, "
These findings suggest that experiences of everyday
discrimination are associated with less nocturnal SBP DBP
dipping above and beyond the effect of known covariates. The
use of multiple ABPM sessions may facilitate the detection of
relationships between psychological variables and BP dipping."