Jennifer J. McGrath holds a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) New Investigator Award. This research was funded through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (#MOP185243, #OCO154218). Portions of this paper were previously presented at the 2010 American Psychosomatic Society Annual Meeting, Portland, Oregon. We thank all participants, their families, and the Montreal-area schools who agreed to participate. Special thanks to the Pediatric Public Health Psychology Laboratory staff and volunteers, especially Natasha Hunt and Sabrina Giovanniello, for their continued excellence and dedication.
Blood pressure and pain sensitivity in children and adolescents
Article first published online: 20 MAR 2013
Copyright © 2013 Society for Psychophysiological Research
Volume 50, Issue 6, pages 513–520, June 2013
How to Cite
Drouin, S. and McGrath, J. J. (2013), Blood pressure and pain sensitivity in children and adolescents. Psychophysiology, 50: 513–520. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12036
- Issue published online: 10 MAY 2013
- Article first published online: 20 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 4 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Received: 2 APR 2012
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Grant Numbers: MOP185243, OCO154218
- Blood pressure;
Elevated blood pressure is associated with diminished pain sensitivity. While this finding is well established in adults, it is less clear when the relation between blood pressure and pain sensitivity emerges across the life course. Evidence suggests this phenomenon may exist during childhood. Children (N = 309; 56% boys) aged 10–15 years and their parents participated. Blood pressure readings were taken during a resting baseline. Maximum pain intensity was rated using a visual analogue scale (rated 0–10) in response to a finger prick pain induction. Parent-measured resting blood pressure was inversely associated with boys' pain ratings only. Cross-sectionally, lower pain ratings were related to higher SBP, univariately. Longitudinally, pain ratings predicted higher DBP, even after controlling for covariates. Determining when and how the relation between blood pressure and pain sensitivity emerges may elucidate the pathophysiology of hypertension.