About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Higher Risk of Hypertension in Older Adults With Negative Social Interactions

by Himabindu Venkatakrishnan on May 29, 2014 at 12:31 PM
Font : A-A+

 Higher Risk of Hypertension in Older Adults With Negative Social Interactions

If you are 50 or older, keeping friends close and your enemies closer may not be the best advice.

New research from Carnegie Mellon University's Rodlescia Sneed and Sheldon Cohen shows that unpleasant or demanding interpersonal encounters increase hypertension risk among older adults.

Advertisement

Published in the American Psychological Association's journal Health Psychology, the study provides some of the first concrete evidence that negative social interactions not only influence psychological well-being but also physical health - in this case, blood pressure levels. Hypertension affects an estimated 65 million Americans and is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.

"This demonstrates how important social networks are as we age - constructing strong, positive relationships are beneficial to prolonged health," said Cohen, the Robert E. Doherty University Professor of Psychology in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Advertisement

For the study, Sneed and Cohen used data from the Health and Retirement Study, a multi-year survey of 1,502 healthy adults aged 50 and over. In 2006, the frequency of negative interactions - exchanges or behaviors that involved excessive demands, criticism, disappointment or other unpleasantness - with their partners, children, other family members and friends was assessed by questionnaire. Blood pressure was measured at this assessment as well as four years later.

The results show that each increase in the total average negative social interaction score was associated with a 38 percent increased chance of developing hypertension over the four-year period. Younger older adults - those aged 51-64 - were also more affected than those 65 or older.

The researchers also observed sex differences in their findings. While negative interactions predicted hypertension risk among women, these interactions were not related to hypertension risk among men.

"There is a body of evidence in social psychology research suggesting that women care more about and pay more attention to the quality of their relationships," said Sneed, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology. "Our findings suggest that women are particularly sensitive to negative interactions, which is consistent with this previous work."

The researchers also found that the type of relationship matters. Negative interactions between friends and family led to an increase in hypertension risk while poor encounters with partners and children did not make a difference.

"Interpersonal conflicts are the most commonly reported stressor, so understanding their impact on health and well-being is particularly important," said Sneed.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Test Your Knowledge About Chromosomes?
Eating During Sunlight Hours Minimizes Mood Vulnerabilities
Know More About the Digestive System
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
High Blood Pressure Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Diet and High Blood Pressure Stress and the Gender Divide Silent Killer Diseases Quiz on Hypertension Can Garlic Control High Blood Pressure High Blood Pressure and Herbs Benefits of Blood Pressure Tablets on your Health Fruits to Help Lower Blood Pressure 

Most Popular on Medindia

Diaphragmatic Hernia Drug Side Effects Calculator Selfie Addiction Calculator Drug - Food Interactions Sanatogen Blood - Sugar Chart Drug Interaction Checker The Essence of Yoga Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
×

Higher Risk of Hypertension in Older Adults With Negative Social Interactions Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests