Health, Zoomer Report

Fighting and Blood Pressure

Fighting and Blood Pressure featured image

How are you affected by a fight or disagreement with family or friends? The research suggests it’s not just a question of your personality, but also depends on your age and whether you’re a man or a woman.

A study from at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, suggests that being criticized aggravated or disappointed with people may actually harm the health of middle-aged women by triggering a long-term jump in blood pressure.

But it didn’t seem to affect men or women aged 65 and older.

The researchers analyzed four years of blood pressure data collected from more than 1,500 men and women. None had high blood pressure when the study began but by the time it ended nearly 30% did. They correlated these results with questionnaires about negative social interactions. The result: For every one-point rise in negative socializing scores, women between the ages of 51 and 64 saw their risk for developing high blood pressure jump by 38 percent.

The study author says this supports previous research which shows that that women are more sensitive to the quality of their relationships.

And why not older women?

The theory is that they tend to focus on the relationships that are most important, are finished raising their kids, and generally don’t have work-related stress. The findings are published in the journal Health Psychology.

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