Hypertension increases your risk for other medical problems like stroke and heart disease, which again are the leading cause of death in both women and men. And while we all know that being overweight, lack of exercise and a poor diet are some physical factors that raise your risk of high blood pressure. A new study found that certain social influences such as marital status are also linked to the condition.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Hypertension, scientists analyzed data from 28,238 Canadian men and women aged 45 to 85. These people were participating in an ongoing study on ageing. The data was used to determine the association between marital status, living arrangement, social network size and social participation and hypertension by gender.
The study found the influence of marital status on hypertension risk for women. Single women have a 28 per cent higher risk of hypertension as compared to their married counterparts. Divorced women have 21 per cent higher risk and widowed women have 33 per cent higher risk.
The findings were the opposite for women
It was found that, when it comes to hypertension, men actually seemed to benefit from being single. In men, lone-living men were lower at risk of hypertension as compared to co-living men.
Having fewer friends raised hypertension risk in women. Women who also had fewer friends were 15 per cent more likely to have high blood pressure.
Social ties and men
While it was found that social ties were important for women, they had very little influence on the risk level for men. Not even the size of the social network nor the level of participation in social activities were found to have any significant association with high blood pressure, found the study.