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Evaluating the Relationship Between Stress, Ethnicity, and Blood Pressure

This study has been completed.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Joel E. Dimsdale, M.D., University of California, San Diego Identifier:
First received: October 30, 2008
Last updated: December 16, 2015
Last verified: December 2015
High blood pressure is a common health problem among people in the United States. This study will examine the ways that stress and ethnicity play a role in the development of high blood pressure.


Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Case Control
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
Official Title: Stress, Blood Pressure, & Ethnicity

Further study details as provided by University of California, San Diego:

Biospecimen Retention:   Samples With DNA
Serum, urine

Enrollment: 203
Study Start Date: October 2005
Study Completion Date: December 2010
Primary Completion Date: September 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Caucasian Americans
African Americans

Detailed Description:

High blood pressure affects nearly one third of all people in the United States. It can be caused by many factors, including obesity, sodium intake, genetics, and stress. Ethnicity appears to also play a role, because African Americans are more susceptible to developing high blood pressure than other ethnic groups, with more than 40% of African Americans diagnosed with this condition. This study will examine the underlying reasons of why stress and African-American ethnicity contribute to high blood pressure risk and how ethnicity and stress interact with each other to increase this risk. Specifically, study researchers will examine how stress increases blood pressure, how people from different ethnic groups respond to stress differently, and how sleep plays a role in regulating blood pressure levels.

This study will enroll African Americans and Caucasians who have high blood pressure, as well as African Americans and Caucasians who have normal blood pressure. Potential participants will go through a screening process that involves a medical history review, questionnaires, and blood pressure monitoring. Eligible participants will then be admitted to the research clinic for a 2-night stay. Participants' nutrition history and body measurements will be obtained, and a catheter will be inserted into the arm so that blood can be easily collected during the clinic stay. During the night, participants' breathing habits and movements will be monitored while they sleep. During the day, blood pressure and heart activity will be monitored frequently, including when participants are asked to perform mildly stressful tasks, such as giving a short speech. Various medications that affect heart rate and blood pressure will be given at different times during the study, and researchers will monitor participants' reactions to each medication. Lastly, participants will also complete psychological questionnaires.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 50 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
Community sample in the San Diego, California metropolitan area

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Self-identifies as African American or Caucasian
  • Weighs 85% to 150% of ideal weight (approximate BMI of 17.5 to 30)
  • In good physical health

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Blood pressure greater than 180/110 mm Hg at any point in the past
  • Currently works less than half-time
  • Currently is employed doing shift work
  • Currently takes prescription medication, other than anti-hypertensive medication
  • Currently smokes
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00783497

United States, California
University of California, San Diego
San Diego, California, United States, 92103
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of California, San Diego
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Principal Investigator: Joel E. Dimsdale, MD University of California, San Diego
  More Information

Responsible Party: Joel E. Dimsdale, M.D., Emeritus Professor, University of California, San Diego Identifier: NCT00783497     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 599
R01HL036005 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
5R01HL036005-23 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: October 30, 2008
Last Updated: December 16, 2015

Keywords provided by University of California, San Diego:
High Blood Pressure
Stress processed this record on May 22, 2017