Negative Social Interactions and Blood Pressure

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Story Updated: Jun 6, 2014

Being aggravated, criticized, annoyed, or disappointed by friends or family members can do more than drive women crazy. It can also drive up their blood pressure. That's the finding of a new investigation published in the journal Health Psychology.

A study team spent 4 years exploring how negative social interactions affected the blood pressure of more than 1500 men and women between the ages of 51 and 91. None of the participants had high blood pressure when the study launched in 2006. But by 2010, nearly 30% did.

Why? For women of a certain age, survey responses pointed a smoking gun at friends and certain loved ones. In fact, for women between 51 and 64, every 1-point bump in negative socializing scores translated into a whopping 38% rise in hypertension risk.

Negative interactions had no affect whatsoever on the blood pressure of men or on that of women 65 and up.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the information you need to protect your health.

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