To determine if nocturnal blood pressure (BP) dipping among non-Hispanic blacks is influenced by social support
. Non-Hispanic blacks have higher rates of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality from hypertension
and are more likely to have ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) that remains high at night (nondipping).
A total of 68 non-Hispanic black normotensive and 13 untreated hypertensive participants (age 72 ± 10 years, 48% female) free of clinical cardiovascular disease completed 24-hour ABP monitoring and a questionnaire that included a modified version of the CARDIA Study Social Support
Scale (CSSS). Nondipping was defined as a decrease of <10% in the ratio between average awake and average asleep systolic BP. Analyses were adjusted for age, gender, and systolic BP.
The prevalence of nondipping was 26.8% in subjects in the highest CSSS tertile versus 41.1% in the lowest CSSS tertile (p
= .009). On adjusted analysis, CSSS was analyzed as a continuous variable and remained independently and inversely associated with nondipping (odds ratio 0.27, 95% Confidence Interval 0.08–0.94, p
Conclusions: Social support
may be an important predictor of BP dipping at night. These findings suggest that social support
may have positive health affects through physiologic (autonomic) pathways.
BP = blood pressure; ABP = ambulatory blood pressure; NOMASS = Northern Manhattan Stroke Study; CSSS = CARDIA Social Support Scale; BMI = body mass index; OR = odds ratio; SD = standard deviation.