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.
AdvertisementSeventy-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."