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J Hypertens. 1995 Jun;13(6):603-10.

Association between delayed recovery of blood pressure after acute mental stress and parental history of hypertension.

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  • 1Hypertension Center/Starr Pavilion ST405, Cornell University Medical College/New York Hospital, NY 10021, USA.



To assess the influence of sex, race and parental history of hypertension on blood pressure and heart rate elevations during a stressor, and on the recovery of prestress baseline levels for these parameters.


Five hundred and thirty-seven university undergraduates underwent cardiovascular reactivity testing. A serial-subtraction task served as the stressor. Reactivity was assessed as the difference between baseline and during-task levels, and recovery as the difference between baseline and post-stress levels.


The influence of sex, race and parental history of hypertension on reactivity and recovery was assessed, using analysis of variance models.


No differences were found in reactivity for any of the factors. For recovery, a significant effect was found for parental history of hypertension on systolic blood pressure and a marginal effect on diastolic blood pressure. Post hoc tests revealed that values in groups with two hypertensive parents remained elevated at a significantly higher level than in offspring with either no or one hypertensive parent.


Parental history of hypertension may affect the duration of the blood pressure response to an acute stressor more than the magnitude of the response.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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