Examining Mother-Reported Poor Sleep and Blood Pressure in Black/African American Mother-Child Dyads

Rebecca Robbins, Ralph J. DiClemente, Chidera Ejikeme, Cindy A. Crusto, Jacquelyn Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Poor sleep is a confirmed risk factor for hypertension (HTN), and Black/African American (AA) women have among the highest rates of HTN in the United States. OBJECTIVE: We examined the relationship between sleep and blood pressure (BP) among Black/AA mother-child dyads using data from the Intergenerational Impact of Genetic and Psychological Factors on Blood Pressure study. METHODS: Data for this study were derived from 250 Black/AA mother-child dyads from low-income neighborhoods, collected via 4 home visits over 2 years. Mothers reported poor sleep, including reports of sleeping worse than usual and nighttime awakenings. Recordings of BP were obtained for mother and child. Mother BP was scored as normal (<120/<80 mm Hg), elevated (120-129/<80 mm Hg), stage 1 HTN (130-139/80-89 mm Hg), or stage 2 HTN (systolic ≥140 or diastolic ≥90 mm Hg). Generalized linear models examined the relationships between mother-reported poor sleep variables and both mother and child BP. Adjusted models examining mother BP controlled for the mother's age, education, marital status, smoking, body mass index, and depression symptoms. RESULTS: In adjusted models, nighttime awakenings were associated with stage 2 HTN (b = 2.70, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.54-4.86, P < .05). Compared with children whose mother who had normal BP, children whose mother had elevated BP had higher diastolic BP (b = 0.37; 95% CI, 0.19-0.54; P < .001). Mother elevated BP was associated with both child systolic BP (b = 2.49; 95% CI, 0.44-4.53; P < .05) and diastolic BP (b = 2.07; 95% CI, 0.39-3.76; P < .05). Mother stage 1 HTN was associated with both child systolic BP (b = 2.16; 95% CI, 0.29-4.03; P < .05) and diastolic BP (b = 3.91; 95% CI, 2.40-5.42; P < .001). We detected a significant interaction between mother stage 2 HTN and mother nighttime awakenings in predicting higher child diastolic BP (b = 8.16; 95% CI, 0.65-15.68; P < .05). CONCLUSIONS: We found evidence for an association between mothers' nighttime awakenings and very high BP. Our study also illuminated a strong relationship between high mother BP and high child BP. Finally, our study found preliminary support for the potentially mediating role of mothers' nighttime awakenings in predicting the relationship between mother stage 2 HTN and child BP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-123
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of cardiovascular nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing

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