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Tough Job, Bad Marriage Can Cause Hypertension

Canadian study shows stress on the job and at home raises blood pressure

WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Here's a study that confirms what most of us suspect -- a bad marriage and a stressful job can give you high blood pressure.

Researchers at the University of Toronto looked at how job strain and marital factors affected the blood pressure and hearts of 103 men and women who had signs of early hypertension.

All the people in the three-year study filled out questionnaires and wore portable blood pressure monitoring devices. Of that group, 72 had echocardiography to measure their heart's left ventricular mass, which is affected by sustained increase or decrease in blood pressure.

Over the course of the study, the left ventricular mass in those who had a strong marriage decreased 8 per cent, while it increased 6.26 percent in people with weak marriages. Those with healthy marriages also had lower diastolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure than those with weaker marriages.

Men with jobs that caused mental strain were more likely to have higher blood pressure than men whose jobs caused them no stress.

But the women's blood pressure was unaffected by on-the-job stress, according to the findings, which are being presented this week at the American Society of Hypertension's annual meeting in New York City.

More information

This page from the American Heart Association lists a number of articles that can help determine your risk for hypertension.

SOURCE: Report, annual meeting May 14-18, American Society of Hypertension, New York City
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