Ambulatory blood pressure levels when posture is controlled

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Neil Schneiderman - Committee Chair


Ambulatory blood pressures (BP) were automatically assessed and a diary checked off every 20 min from approximately 9:00 a.m. until bedtime by 131 black and white, male and female, normotensive and mild hypertensive subjects. The diaries included information about posture (lying down, sitting, standing, or walking), location (home or work), mood (elated, content, or negative), and social situation (with family, alone, with friends, or with strangers). Significant differences in BP levels were found across location, mood states, and social situations while subjects were sitting but not while standing. This suggests that the increased BP needed to sustain subjects in a standing as opposed to a sitting posture overrides the effects of other situational factors as they occurred in the present study. More specifically, sitting BP levels were higher while at work than while at home. Such differences in systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) levels were greater in whites than in blacks, and such differences in SBP levels were greater in mild hypertensives than in normotensives. BP levels were lower while sitting contently as opposed to sitting in a positive mood. BP levels assessed during elated and negative mood states, however, did not significantly differ. BP levels were significantly lower while subjects were sitting with family as opposed to sitting with friends or strangers. More specifically, BP levels were higher when sitting with friends than sitting with family for females, but not males. Additionally, evidence was presented to suggest that the nature of the social situation had a greater affect on BP levels of mild hypertensives than normotensives.


Psychology, Physiological

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