Background: High uric acid (UA) is associated with hypertension and cardiovascular disease (CVD), both of which occur disproportionately among African Americans. High UA also predicts greater blood pressure reactivity responses to acute social stress. However, whether UA itself shows reactivity in response to stress is unknown. We evaluated salivary uric acid (sUA) and blood pressure reactivity in response to acute social stress. Healthy African Americans (N = 103; 32% male; M age = 31.36 years), completed the Trier Social Stress Test. sUA and blood pressure measurements were taken before, during and after the stressor task. sUA showed significant reactivity and recovery, especially among older African Americans. Total sUA activation was also associated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure total activation. Findings illuminate that acute stress may be a way in which UA is implicated in hypertension and CVD, suggesting a critical need to explore UA reactivity as a novel parameter of the acute stress response.
OBJECTIVE: Believing in justice can protect health. Among marginalized racial minorities however, both endorsing and rejecting beliefs about justice might be critical. The current research examined links between African Americans’ beliefs about justice for self and for others and telomere length (TL)-an indicator of biological aging that is increasingly implicated in racial health disparities, with shorter telomeres indicating poorer health.
METHOD: Healthy African Americans (N = 118; 30% male; M age = 31.63 years) completed individual differences measures of justice beliefs for self and others and then provided dried blood spot samples that were assayed for TL.
RESULTS: We expected that a belief in justice for self would be positively associated with TL, whereas a belief in justice for others would be negatively associated. A significant 3-way interaction with chronological age confirmed this hypothesis-among older African Americans, TL was positively associated with believing in justice for self, but only when this belief was accompanied by a weak endorsement of the belief in justice for others.
CONCLUSION: Findings underscore that for racial minorities, health might be best protected when justice beliefs are both endorsed and rebuffed.