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ARIZONA: New Study at University of Arizona links Divorce to hypertension

Filed in Divorce & Health

Science Daily reports that a new study at the University of Arizona has found a link between divorce and high blood pressure. The gist of it is that after a divorce, a little bit of sleeplessness is normal. But if it persists too long, it becomes a problem and can lead to serious health problems such as hypertension and depression. According to Science Daily:

The study looked at 138 people who had physically separated from or divorced their partner about 16 weeks before the start of the study.

Participants were asked to report on their quality of sleep during three lab visits over a seven-and-a-half-month period, using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, which takes into consideration sleep issues ranging from tossing and turning to snoring to difficulty falling and staying asleep. Participants’ blood pressure also was measured at each of the three lab visits.

Although researchers did not observe a relationship between sleep complaints and blood pressure levels at the participants’ first lab visits, they did observe a delayed effect, with participants showing increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure in later visits as a function of earlier sleep problems.

“We saw changes in resting blood pressure were associated with sleep problems three months earlier. Earlier sleep problems predicted increases in resting blood pressure over time,” Sbarra said.

In addition, the researchers found that the longer peoples’ sleep problems persisted after their separation, the more likely those problems were to have an adverse effect on blood pressure. more

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