Perceived Discrimination and Nocturnal Blood Pressure Dipping among Hispanics: The Influence of Social Support and Race

Carlos Jose Rodriguez, Tanya M. Gwathmey, Zhezhen Jin, Joseph Schwartz, Bettina M. Beech, Ralph L. Sacco, Marco R. Di Tullio, Shunichi Homma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective Little is known about the relationship of perceived racism to ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) in Hispanics. We explored possible associations between ABP nocturnal dipping and perceived racism in a Hispanic cohort. Methods Participants included 180 community-dwelling Hispanics from the Northern Manhattan Study. Measures included perceived racism, socioeconomic status, social support, and ABP monitoring. Nocturnal ABP nondipping was defined as a less than 10% decline in the average asleep systolic blood pressure relative to the awake systolic blood pressure. Results Overall, 77.8% of participants reported some form of perceived racism (Perceived Ethnic Discrimination Questionnaire scores >1.0). Greater social support was associated with less perceived discrimination (Spearman r = -0.54, p <.001). Those with higher perceived discrimination scores reported more depressive symptoms (r = 0.25, p <.001). Those with higher Perceived Ethnic Discrimination Questionnaire scores were less likely to show nocturnal ABP nondipping in multivariate models (odds ratio = 0.40, confidence interval = 0.17-0.98, p =.045). Among those with low perceived racism, black Hispanic participants were more likely to have nocturnal ABP nondipping (82.6%) compared with white Hispanics (53.9%; p =.02). Among those with high perceived racism, no associations between race and the prevalence of ABP nondipping was found (black Hispanic = 61.5% versus white Hispanic = 51.4%, p =.39; p interaction =.89). Conclusions Perceived racism is relatively common among US Hispanics and is associated with ABP. Nondipping of ABP, a potential cardiovascular risk factor, was more common in black Hispanic participants with low perceived racism. This finding may reflect different coping mechanisms between black versus white Hispanics and related blood pressure levels during daytime exposures to discrimination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)841-850
Number of pages10
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Hispanics
  • ambulatory blood pressure
  • blood pressure
  • perceived discrimination
  • race
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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