Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bad Marriages Exacerbate High Blood Pressure

Date:
December 15, 2000
Source:
University Of Toronto
Summary:
New research has found that if you already have a tendency for high blood pressure, conflict with your mate sends it even higher.

If it sometimes feels like your spouse makes your blood boil, you may be right. New research has found that if you already have a tendency for high blood pressure, conflict with your mate sends it even higher.

"We've always known that social support moderates blood pressure and cardiovascular response, and this is direct evidence of that," said Dr. Brian Baker of the department of psychiatry and the University Health Network. In a study published in the December 11 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, Baker and his research team found new evidence to support the old adage that bad marriages are bad for your health. They examined the effects of positive and negative marital relationships on people with mild hypertension and found that unhappy marriages in fact do increase blood pressure.

At the beginning of the study more than 100 men and women completed a questionnaire to determine the quality of their marriages and wore monitors that repeatedly measured their blood pressure over a 24-hour period. Three years later, the participants had their blood pressure recorded again and kept diaries describing the amount of time they spent with their husbands or wives while they wore the monitor.

"If you had a bad marriage three years ago, three years later we found it was worse to be with your spouse because your blood pressure was raised compared to when you're not with them," Baker said. In good marriages, however, blood pressure went down when people were with their spouses. "It's the reverse finding. It's better to be with your spouse-it's protective." The results also showed that after three years people with low marital adjustment scores had a statistically significant thickening of the heart's left ventricle, an indication of high blood pressure.

Baker's interest in the impact of marriage on hypertension evolved from a longstanding curiosity about the way psychosocial factors can affect a person's illness, whether it is schizophrenia, depression or heart disease. Previous research has shown that job strain elevates blood pressure, and Baker hypothesized that a study on marital stress would yield similar results. "I thought, Why can't this model apply to marriage because marriage is a very difficult institution in the sense that there's lots of marital strife and marriages breaking down all over the place," he said.

Though it has yet to be confirmed by further studies, Baker does not believe that marital discord alone, or any other kind of chronic psychosocial stress, can actually cause high blood pressure in people who are not already predisposed to it. "I think you inherit a biological tendency, and that stress over time at work and at home can bring out what is already there."

He says any new findings on factors that aggravate hypertension are important because it is such a widespread and poorly understood condition. And the study, funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, offers doctors a novel prescription for high blood pressure. "There's treatment for marital stress-the treatment is marital counselling," he said. "And this raises the unbelievable spectre for physicians of treating hypertension with marital counselling."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Toronto. "Bad Marriages Exacerbate High Blood Pressure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 December 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/12/001214160933.htm>.
University Of Toronto. (2000, December 15). Bad Marriages Exacerbate High Blood Pressure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/12/001214160933.htm
University Of Toronto. "Bad Marriages Exacerbate High Blood Pressure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/12/001214160933.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins