Study examines ethnic differences in sleep quality and blood pressure

Oct 29, 2007

In the United States, African Americans have higher blood pressure and are at greater risk of hypertension than whites. In addition, African Americans report poorer sleep quality and exhibit a smaller nighttime decrease in blood pressure than whites, a phenomenon called blood pressure “dipping.”

“This ethnic difference in blood pressure dipping may help explain why African Americans are at greater risk of hypertension,” says Dr. Joel Hughes, Kent State assistant professor of psychology, “as a smaller dip in nighttime blood pressure has been associated with increased left ventricular mass and wall thickness in the heart.”

In this month’s issue of the American Journal of Hypertension, Hughes and his colleagues examine the possibility that sleep quality may help account for ethnic differences in blood pressure dipping. They found that African-American college students, compared to whites, spent less time in bed, slept for a shorter period of time and took longer to fall asleep.

Thus, ethnic differences in sleep quality seemed to accompany ethnic differences in blood pressure dipping; however, it was not shown that these differences in sleep quality caused ethnic differences in nighttime blood pressure.

“Obviously, more research is needed,” says Hughes. “There are too few studies of ethnic differences in sleep, and the importance of sleep for health is becoming increasingly recognized.”

Source: Kent State University

Explore further: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Guns aren't the only things killing cops

Apr 11, 2014

The public does not realize—in fact, police themselves may not realize—that the dangers police officers are exposed to on a daily basis are far worse than anything on "Law and Order."

Obstructive sleep apnea linked with later risk of heart disease

Jul 12, 2010

Severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) raised the risk of heart failure for middle-aged and older men — and significantly raised the risk of coronary heart disease in men up to age 70, according to research reported in Circulation: Jo ...

Recommended for you

Humiliation tops list of mistreatment toward med students

9 hours ago

Each year thousands of students enroll in medical schools across the country. But just how many feel they've been disrespected, publicly humiliated, ridiculed or even harassed by their superiors at some point during their ...

Surrogate offers clues into man with 16 babies

18 hours ago

When the young Thai woman saw an online ad seeking surrogate mothers, it seemed like a life-altering deal: $10,000 to help a foreign couple that wanted a child but couldn't conceive.

Nurses go on strike in Ebola-hit Liberia

18 hours ago

Nurses at Liberia's largest hospital went on strike on Monday, demanding better pay and equipment to protect them against a deadly Ebola epidemic which has killed hundreds in the west African nation.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea

Aug 31, 2014

It's pretty hard to find a novel way to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by now, but two-time Grammy-winning rapper Pras Michel, a founding member of the Fugees, has done it—getting his dousing in the center ...

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

Aug 28, 2014

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

User comments : 0