Health Discoveries in General Health News

Increased blood pressure may have connection to adults loneliness

April 30, 2010
A marked increase in blood pressure over time may occur in adults age 50 and older who experience chronic feelings of loneliness, a new study has found.

Researchers at the University of Chicago say the connection exists independent of other risk factors associated with high blood pressure. The 229 participants, from ages 50 to 68, were involved in a five-year study on aging.

"Loneliness behaved as though it were a unique health risk factor in its own right," according to Louise Hawkley, a scientist with the university's Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience. "The increase associated with loneliness wasn’t observable until two years into the study, but then continued to increase until four years later."

The findings were published in a recent issue of the journal Psychology and Aging.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, increases the risk for heart attack, stroke and kidney impairment, and it causes an estimated 18 percent of deaths in the U.S.

A clinical trial under way at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, the research arm of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, is examining whether a blood test can diagnose the severity of pulmonary artery hypertension (PAH).ADNFCR-2730-ID-19753686-ADNFCR
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