Washington: Loneliness is directly linkedto high blood pressure in people, especially senior citizens,American scientists have claimed. According to a new study at the University of Chicago,chronic feelings of loneliness take a toll on blood pressureover time, causing a marked increase after four years.
"The increase associated with loneliness wasn`tobservable until two years into the study, but then continuedto increase until four years later," she said. Even people with modest levels of loneliness wereimpacted. Among all the people in the sample, the loneliestpeople saw their blood pressure go up by 14.4 mm more than theblood pressure of their most socially contented counterpartsover the four-year study period. Lonely people`s apprehension about social connectionsmay underlie the blood pressure increase. "Loneliness is characterised by a motivational impulseto connect with others but also a fear of negative evaluation,rejection and disappointment," Hawkley said. "We hypothesise that threats to one`s sense of safetyand security with others are toxic components of loneliness,and that hypervigilance for social threat may contribute toalterations in physiological functioning, including elevatedblood pressure." PTI
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