Is blood pressure affected by loneliness?
Various reports about lack of connection with others canmake us both unhappy and is bad for the wellbeing of your body, research finds – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7473166/Loneliness-increases-your-blood-pressure.html – with blood pressure being recorded as increasing especially for people whofelt lonely and isolated.
Though this study did find an association between blood pressure and loneliness, it was a relatively small effect.
Researchers found that there is a corelation between loneliness and increases in blood pressure over time. This link had to be proven to be independent of age and other factors such as smoking and obesity.
Living alone did not necessarily mean people were lonely – some people appeared to have busy lives and a good social network but still felt lonely, which put them at higher risk of rising blood pressure.
The huge increase in online connection through high speed internet, mobile broadband and texting is one of many examples where although people have ‘freinds’ they can still feel lonely
Previous research has suggested that individuals who feel alone are twice as likely to developing dementia as those who experienced little loneliness.
During the five-year study a clear connection between feelings of loneliness reported at the beginning of the study and rising blood pressure were found.
Though this study did find an association between blood pressure and loneliness, it was a relatively small effect. At the end of the study four years later, there was only a small difference in predicted blood pressure between people who were lonely and those who were not.
Raised blood pressure is associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney problems and dementia. However, for most people, it is difficult to say what, if any, health-related effect this small relative increase would have.