Purpose: The current study examined the effects of chronic stress and a genetic risk score on the presence of hypertension and elevated systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure among Hispanics/Latinos in the target population of Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos.
Materials and methods: Of the participants (N = 11,623) assessed during two clinic visits (Visit 1 2008-2013 & Visit 2 2014-2018), we analysed data from 7,429 adults (50.4% female), aged 18-74, who were genotyped and responded to chronic stress questionnaires. We calculated an unweighted genetic risk score using blood pressure increasing single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) found to be generalisable to Hispanics/Latinos (10 SNPs). Linear and logistic regression models were used to estimate associations between chronic stress and genetic risk score and their interaction, with prevalent Visit 2 SBP or DBP, and hypertension, respectively. Models accounted for sampling weights, stratification, and cluster design.
Results: Chronic stress (adjusted OR = 1.18, 95%CI:1.15,1.22) and hypertension genetic risk score (adjusted OR = 1.04, 95%CI:1.01,1.07) were significantly associated with prevalent hypertension, but there was no significant interaction between the chronic stress and genetic risk score on hypertension (p = .49). genetic risk score (b = .32, 95%CI:.08, .55, R2 = .02) and chronic stress (b = .45, 95%CI:.19, .72, R2 = .11) were related to DBP, with no significant interaction (p = .62). Genetic risk score (b = .42, 95%CI:.08, .76, R2 = .01) and chronic stress (b = .80, 95%CI:.34,1.26, R2 = .11) were also related to SBP, with no significant interaction (p = .51).
Conclusion: Results demonstrate the utility of a genetic risk score for blood pressure and are consistent with literature suggesting chronic stress has a strong, direct association with elevated blood pressure among U.S. Hispanics/Latinos.
Keywords: Genetic risk; Hispanic/Latino; blood pressure; chronic psychosocial stress; hypertension.