ArticleBlood pressure but not parental history for hypertension predicts pain perception in womenal'Absi, Mustafaa,b,*; Petersen, Karen L.a; Wittmers, Lorentz E.cAuthor Information aDepartment of Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Duluth, MN 55812-2487, USA bDepartment of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Duluth, MN 55812-2487, USA cDepartment of Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Minnesota, Duluth, MN 55812-2487, USA *Corresponding author. Tel.: +1-218-726-7144; fax: +1-218-726-6235 E-mail: [email protected] Submitted February 7, 2000; revised March 30, 2000; accepted April 11, 2000. Pain: October 2000 - Volume 88 - Issue 1 - p 61-68 doi: 10.1016/S0304-3959(00)00306-7 Buy Metrics Abstract Previous work has suggested an attenuated sensitivity to painful stimulation in hypertensive men. We recently reported that, compared with persons with negative parental history, men, but not women, with a positive history for hypertension showed attenuated pain perception. This study specifically addressed factors that predict pain perception in women, including blood pressure, parental history and mood states. Fifty-four normotensive women with positive (PH+; n=20) or negative parental history (PH−; n=34) for hypertension and high or low casual systolic blood pressure (BP) performed the cold pressor (CP) test. Participants rated their pain every 15 s during a 90-s hand CP (0–4°C) and a 90-s post-CP rest period. Detailed mood ratings were obtained immediately before the CP test. Data were evaluated using multivariate repeated measure analyses of variance and regression analyses. PH+ and PH− women did not differ in age, height, weight, education, resting BP, or heart rate. PH+ and PH− women did not differ in pain ratings during or after the CP, or pain ratings using the McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ), and they did not differ in their cardiovascular responses to the CP, confirming our earlier study in a separate sample. Women with high casual systolic BP reported significantly less pain, especially after the CP (P<0.01). MPQ total scores confirmed this finding with high BP women reporting less pain than low BP women (P<0.05). Regression analyses confirmed these effects. Controlling for potential confounding variables did not alter these relationships. These findings suggest that in women, phenotype systolic BP may be a better predictor of hypoalgesia than parental history of hypertension. © 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.