Early socioeconomic status is associated with adult nighttime blood pressure dipping.
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OBJECTIVE: To examine the prognostic significance of early socioeconomic status (SES) on 24-hour blood pressure (BP) during early adulthood. Low SES has been related to poor health outcomes, in particular, cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Recent cross-sectional research has also linked low levels of SES with several cardiovascular risk factors including poor nighttime BP dipping. METHODS: A total of 174 undergraduate university students whose childhood SES was assessed by highest level of education completed by their parents underwent 24-hour ambulatory BP monitoring. RESULTS: Initial correlation analyses revealed positive associations between childhood SES and BP dipping, indicating that lower levels of childhood SES were associated with less systolic BP (SBP) (r = .29, p < .01) and diastolic BP (DBP) dipping (r = .38, p < .01). A stepwise multiple regression analyses indicated that childhood SES explained 6.9% of the variance in SBP dipping and 11.5% of the variance in DBP dipping above and beyond other lifestyle-related factors including daytime BP, body mass index, alcohol use, smoking, and current SES. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that irrespective of adult achievement, childhood SES may have lasting health implications.
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