Family history of hypertension and pain during blood donation.

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Parental history of hypertension was associated with significantly lower venipuncture pain ratings in women with little or no blood donation experience. Healthy men (N = 288) and women (N = 434) presenting at Red Cross blood donor clinics provided pain ratings in response to an initial blood sample and venipuncture for blood donation. Analyses were restricted to 460 individuals with and without a confirmed parental history of hypertension (N = 188 and 272, respectively). There were no significant gender or parental history effects on initial blood sample pain ratings. Significantly lower venipuncture pain ratings were observed 1) for men vs. women, 2) for more experienced blood donors, and 3) among subjects with 0–1 previous donations, for women with vs. women without a parental history of hypertension. Although pain ratings were positively correlated with subjective anxiety throughout donation, there were no significant differences in anxiety ratings between women with and without a parental history of hypertension. The results provide suggestive evidence of an association between genetic risk for hypertension and decreased pain sensitivity.

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