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High Blood Pressure

Grief and hypertension

10/06/2004

Question:

I have a question that is a bit unusual and I doubt there have been studies done on it, but do you know if there is a specific, direct correlation between continuing grief over a loved one`s death and raised blood pressure? Not just immediately after, but for months or even years after?

Answer:

There are no studies that have examined grief and high blood pressure, but there is a link between prolonged stress and high blood pressure.  Studies have shown that air traffic controllers who work under a lot of psychological stress are at greater risk for hypertension than other people with the same physical characteristics.  Moving from a rural area to a big city as been shown to increase blood pressure, as has chronic exposure to noise.

Grief is a form of stress, and is appears quite possible that it can induce hypertension.

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Response by:

Max C Reif, MD Max C Reif, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director of Hypertension Section
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati