Easily stressed? At risk of developing high blood pressure

New York, Feb 6 (IANS) The tendency to take more stress during youth may increase the risk of developing high blood pressure later in life, suggests a study.

Also, stressed youths who are overweight are three times more likely to develop high blood pressure, showed the findings, published online in the journal Heart.

Casey Crump, researcher from the Stanford University in California, US used the national disease registry data to track the health of more than 1.5 million 18-year-old men, who had been conscripted into the army in Sweden between 1969 and 1997, till the end of 2012.

None of the conscripts had high blood pressure when they began their stint in the military. Their stress resilience level was measured by structured interview.

The men were quizzed about psychological adjustments made, their conflicts and successes, and responsibilities assumed at school, home, or at work, to gain a picture of an individual’s emotional stability and maturity and arrive at a score of between one and nine on the stress resilience scale, with nine indicating high resilience.

Between 1969 and 2012, some 93,000 of the conscripts were diagnosed with high blood pressure. The average age of the men at the end of the monitoring period was 47, and the average age at diagnosis was 49.

A low stress resilience score at the age of 18 was associated with a heightened risk of developing high blood pressure in later life.

Men in the bottom 20 percent of scores had a more than 40 percent heightened risk of the condition than those in the highest 20 percent of scores.

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