Marriage good for your BP?

Marriage good for your BP?

true or false?

In a new study published in The Journal of Hypertension, researchers at Harvard Medical School looked at 325 adults who were followed over two years as part of a randomised controlled trial.

The subjects, about half of whom were married, were assigned to follow strict diets and wear devices that monitored their blood pressure throughout the day.

Blood pressure levels generally follow a daily pattern, rising throughout the day and then falling at night. A nightly dip of at least 10 percent in systolic pressure — the top number in a blood pressure reading — is considered normal, said Dr Finnian R McCausland, a study author, whereas lack of such a dip is associated with cardiovascular problems and higher mortality.

People who were married — especially men – were much more likely to exhibit this “nocturnal dipping” than those who were not married, the researchers found, even after taking into account factors like socioeconomic status, age, diet and body mass index.
The researchers speculate that marriage might provide a level of social support that leads people to better manage their health and stress levels. Or, they wrote, “being married may simply be a marker for those with better overall health status, nutritional status and psychiatric wellness.”