West African ancestry and nocturnal blood pressure in African Americans: The Jackson Heart Study

John N. Booth, Man Li, Daichi Shimbo, Rachel Hess, Marguerite R. Irvin, Rick Kittles, James G. Wilson, Lynn B. Jorde, Alfred K. Cheung, Leslie A. Lange, Ethan M. Lange, Yuichiro Yano, Paul Muntner, Adam P. Bress

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: African Americans have a higher prevalence of nocturnal hypertension and nondipping blood pressure than European Americans, but the genetic contribution to these racial differences remains unclear. We assessed the association of the percentage West African genetic ancestry with nocturnal hypertension and nondipping blood pressure in 932 African Americans from the Jackson Heart Study. Methods: Using percentage West African ancestry determined from 389 ancestry informative markers, participants were categorized into tertiles (tertile 1 [low]: <79.3%, tertile 2: ≥, and tertile 3 [high]: >86.3%). Nocturnal hypertension was defined as mean nighttime (midnight.6 am) systolic (SBP)/diastolic blood pressure ≥120/70 mm Hg. Nondipping blood pressure was defined as mean nighttime-to-daytime (10 am.8 pm) SBP ratio >0.90. Results: Nocturnal hypertension was present in 57.9% of participants; 66.6% had nondipping blood pressure. The mean age was 59.4 years, 32.8% were male, and 56.0% were taking antihypertensive medication. The prevalence ratios (95% confidence interval) adjusted for age, sex, cardiovascular disease risk factors, and socioeconomic and psychosocial factors comparing participants with moderate and high to those with low percentage West African ancestry for nocturnal hypertension were 0.98 (0.87-1.10) and 0.95 (0.84-1.08), respectively, and for nondipping blood pressure was 0.96 (0.86-1.07) and 0.98 (0.88-1.09), respectively. Conclusions: West African ancestry was not associated with nocturnal hypertension and nondipping blood pressure among African Americans. While rare genetic variants cannot be ruled out, these data highlight the need to better understand how environmental and behavioral factors contribute to differences in nocturnal blood pressure among African Americans compared with European Americans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)706-714
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 7 2018


  • African American
  • Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
  • Blood pressure
  • Genetic ancestry
  • Hypertension
  • Nocturnal hypertension
  • Nondipping blood pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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