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Anxious men risk hypertension.

Being anxious puts middle-aged men at increased risk of developing hypertension, whereas female and older male worrywarts aren't prone to hypertension, researchers report.

Psychological factors have long been suspected of influencing blood pressure, but previous studies of the problem were flawed or provided mixed results, according to Jerome H. Markovitz of the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham and his colleagues. Nor had earlier studies found a gender difference in how anxiety predicts hypertension, they report.

How people express their anger - whether they hold it in or take it out on others, for example - does not relate to whether they go on to develop hypertension, the group writes in the Nov. 24 JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION. Other studies have found that suppressing anger may contribute to the development of hypertension. Some researchers point to a similar link between anger and heart disease (SN: 10/16/93, p.244).

Markovitz' group also finds that weight and glucose intolerance are associated with the development of hypertension in middle-aged women but not in men.

From 1965 to 1967, the team interviewed 1,123 healthy white men and women between the ages of 45 and 77 about their emotions and other factors that may predict hypertension. Eighteen to 20 years later, the investigators analyzed who developed hypertension and which factors predicted it. About half of the group became hypertensive.
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Title Annotation:anxious middle-aged white males more likely to develop high blood pressure than anxious white females or older white males
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Dec 4, 1993
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