Disparities in Hypertension Among African-Americans: Implications of Insufficient Sleep

Naima Covassin, Eddie L. Greene, Prachi Singh, Virend K. Somers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


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. Recent Findings: 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. Summary: 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number57
JournalCurrent Hypertension Reports
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • African-Americans
  • Health disparities
  • Lifestyle
  • Nocturnal dipping
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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