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Personality traits may predict high BP in women.

DENVER -- Age and low hostility are independent predictors of high blood pressure in women over a 10-year period, suggesting a link between certain personality traits and disease development, Jocelyne Leclerc reported in a poster presentation at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society.

Ms. Leclerc and her colleagues at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, compared the results of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and personality questionnaires of 112 healthy adults at baseline and again after 10 years. The study group included 54 men and 63 women; the average age was 40 years at baseline. Average blood pressure monitoring was conducted on predetermined days when the patients did not expect significant stressful events.

Overall, blood pressure and personality traits remained stable over the 10 years. Both systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were significantly correlated with depression at baseline. Baseline hostility predicted increased DBP 10 years later, and baseline SBP predicted hostility 10 years later.

Gender and family history may moderate the impact of personality on blood pressure, the investigators noted in the recently published study (Pers. Individ. Diff. 2006;40:1313-21).

Increased age and low hostility significantly predicted SBP among women, while high levels of self-deception were the only significant predictors of SBP and DBP over time among men.

"The observation of low hostility in women predicting high BP appears quite surprising," the investigators noted. This finding suggests a need to consider "possibly differential adaptiveness of the same personality features of women and men."

Among individuals with a family history of high blood pressure, age and high levels of self-deception were significant predictors of SBP, while self-deception was the lone significant predictor of DBP. Among those without a family history of high blood pressure, only age was a significant predictor of SBP, and no variables were significant predictors of DBP.
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Title Annotation:Blood Pressure; risk factors
Author:Splete, Heidi
Publication:Clinical Psychiatry News
Geographic Code:1U8CO
Date:Apr 1, 2006
Words:304
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