Psychosocial Correlates of Nocturnal Blood Pressure Dipping in African Americans: The Jackson Heart Study

Tanya M. Spruill, Amanda J. Shallcross, Gbenga Ogedegbe, William F. Chaplin, Mark Butler, Amy Palfrey, Daichi Shimbo, Paul Muntner, Mario Sims, Daniel F. Sarpong, Charles Agyemang, Joseph Ravenell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: African Americans exhibit a lower degree of nocturnal blood pressure (BP) dipping compared with Whites, but the reasons for reduced BP dipping in this group are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to identify psychosocial factors associated with BP dipping in a population-based cohort of African Americans. METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 668 Jackson Heart Study (JHS) participants with valid 24-hour ambulatory BP data and complete data on psychosocial factors of interest including stress, negative emotions, and psychosocial resources (e.g., perceived support). The association of each psychosocial factor with BP dipping percentage and nondipping status (defined as <10% BP dipping) was assessed using linear and Poisson regression models, respectively, with progressive adjustment for demographic, socioeconomic, biomedical, and behavioral factors. RESULTS: The prevalence of nondipping was 64%. Higher depressive symptoms, higher hostility, and lower perceived social support were associated with a lower BP dipping percentage in unadjusted models and after adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, and mean 24-hour systolic BP (P < 0.05). Only perceived support was associated with BP dipping percentage in fully adjusted models. Also, after full multivariable adjustment, the prevalence ratio for nondipping BP associated with 1 SD (7.1 unit) increase in perceived support was 0.93 (95% CI: 0.88-0.99). No other psychosocial factors were associated with nondipping status. CONCLUSIONS: Lower perceived support was associated with reduced BP dipping in this study. The role of social support as a potentially modifiable determinant of nocturnal BP dipping warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)904-912
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • African Americans
  • Jackson Heart Study
  • ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
  • blood pressure dipping
  • hypertension
  • psychosocial factors
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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