|Argyle and Old Lace - Feeling Lonely Increases Blood Pressure for Aging Adults|
by Dana Klassen, Marketing Director, St. John's Community Care
Chronic loneliness takes a toll on blood pressure over time, causing a marked increase after a few years, according to a newly published study. A team from the University of Chicago identified, for the first time, a direct relation between loneliness and larger increases in blood pressure four years later. They said the link is independent of age and other factors that could cause blood pressure to rise, including body-mass index, smoking, alcohol use and demographic differences such as race and income.
The researchers also looked at the possibility that depression and stress might account for the increase but found that those factors did not fully explain the increase in blood pressure among lonely people 50 years and older.
“Loneliness behaved as though it is a unique health-risk factor in its own right,” wrote researcher Louise Hawkley. Her findings were published in the journal Psychology and Aging. Hawkley, a senior research scientist, is part of a University of Chicago research team studying the impact of loneliness on health and quality of life issues.