Loneliness can add 30 points to your blood pressure if you are over 50

Loneliness can add 30 points to your blood pressure if you are over 50

A study conducted at the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago has found that if you are over 50 and lonely you could be adding 30 points to your blood pressure and raising significantly your chances of suffering from hypertension.

The increase in blood pressure due to loneliness was present after taking into account a person's emotional state (how sad or stressed the person was).

The older the lonely person gets, the higher his/her blood pressure seems to get, said the researchers.

Lead researcher, Louise Hawkley, said "The take-home message is that feelings of loneliness are a health risk, in that the lonelier you are, the higher your blood pressure. And we know that high blood pressure has all kinds of negative consequences."

You can read about this study in Psychology and Aging (April).

229 people were monitored in this study, aged 50-68. The participants had to answer a questionnaire which determined each person's level of lonileness.

Surely, the best way to improve a lonely person's blood pressure is to encourage him/her to socialise more.

Hawkley said it is not as simple as that. She said "Remember, people can feel lonely even if they are with a lot of people. You can think of Marilyn Monroe or Princess Diana - there was certainly nothing lacking in their social lives, yet they claimed to have felt intensely lonely. They may want to go out and make friends, and yet they have a nagging lack of trust with whomever they want to interact with, or they may feel hostile. So they end up behaving in ways that force the potential partner away.

Link to Psychology and Aging

Editor: womenhealthsecret.com

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