Pain perception and cardiovascular responses in men with positive parental history for hypertension

Mustafa Al'Absi, Tony Buchanan, William R. Lovallo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations

Abstract

Evidence suggests a reduced pain sensitivity in hypertensive individuals. This study sought to extend this work to normotensive individuals with hypertensive parents. Men with a positive (PH+) or negative (PH-) parental history for hypertension rated their pain every 15 s during a 90-s hand cold pressor test and for 90 s after the cold pressor test. Systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressures and heart rate were measured throughout. After the cold pressor test, the men recalled their pain using the McGill Pain Questionnaire. PH+ men showed greater SBP and DBP responses to the cold pressor test. Although pain ratings during the cold pressor test did not differ between groups, posttest reported pain receded faster in the PH+ than in the PH- men. The PH+ men also reported less total pain on the McGill. These findings support the hypothesis that risk for hypertension may be associated with attenuated pain responses to nociceptive stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-661
Number of pages7
JournalPsychophysiology
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1996

Keywords

  • Cold pressor
  • Hypertension
  • Pain perception
  • Parental history for hypertension

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