Systolic blood pressure reactions to acute stress are associated with future hypertension status in the Dutch Famine Birth Cohort Study.

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These analyses examined the association between blood pressure reactions to acute psychological stress and subsequent hypertension status in a substantial Dutch cohort. Blood pressure was recorded during a resting baseline and during three acute stress tasks, Stroop colour word, mirror tracing and speech. Five years later, diagnosed hypertension status was determined by questionnaire. Participants were 453 (237 women) members of the Dutch Famine Birth Cohort. In analysis adjusting for a number of potential confounders, systolic blood pressure reactivity was positively related to future hypertension. This was the case irrespective of whether reactivity was calculated as the peak or the average response to the stress tasks. The association was strongest for reactions to the speech and Stroop tasks. Diastolic blood pressure reactivity was not significantly associated with hypertension. The results provide support for the reactivity hypothesis.