Disparities in Hypertension Among African-Americans: Implications of Insufficient Sleep
Purpose of Review
Sleep deficiency has been proposed as a potential contributor to racial disparities in cardiovascular health. We present contemporary evidence on the unequal burden of insufficient sleep in Blacks/African-Americans and the repercussions for disparate risk of hypertension.
The prevalence of insufficient sleep is high and rising and has been recognized as an important cardiovascular risk factor. Presumably due to a constellation of environmental, psychosocial, and individual determinants, these risks appear exacerbated in Blacks/African-Americans, who are more likely to experience short sleep than other ethnic/racial groups. Population-based data suggest that the risk of hypertension associated with sleep deficiency is greater in those of African ancestry. However, there is a paucity of experimental evidence linking short sleep duration to blood pressure levels in African-Americans.
Blacks/African-Americans may be more vulnerable to sleep deficiency and to its hypertensive effects. Future research is needed to unequivocally establish causality and determine the mechanism underlying the postulated racial inequalities in sleep adequacy and consequent cardiovascular risk.
KeywordsAfrican-Americans Nocturnal dipping Health disparities Lifestyle Sleep
Dr. Covassin is supported by NIH HL134808 and HL065176, American Heart Association grant 16SDG27250156, and Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science grant Marie Ingalls Cardiovascular Research Career Development Fund in honor of Dr. Alexander Schirger. Dr. Singh is supported by American Heart Association grant 17GRNT33660138 and NIH HL65176. Dr. Somers is supported by NIH HL134808 and HL065176. The contents of this article are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of the NIH.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Dr. Somers has served as a consultant for GlaxoSmithKline, Dane Garvin, ResMed, Respicardia, Philips, Bayer, and U Health; has received grant support from a Philips Respironics Foundation gift to Mayo Foundation; and is working with Mayo Health Solutions and their industry partners on intellectual property related to sleep and cardiovascular disease. The other authors indicate no conflicts of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
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