Effect of social support on nocturnal blood pressure dipping

Carlos J. Rodriguez, Matthew M. Burg, Joyce Meng, Thomas G. Pickering, Zhezhen Jin, Ralph L. Sacco, Bernadette Boden-Albala, Shunichi Homma, Marco R. Di Tullio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: 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). METHODS: 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. RESULTS: 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 = .04). 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • African-Americans
  • Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
  • Hypertension
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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