The Risk Of Hypertension May Be Raised By High Levels Of Stress

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : September 17, 2021

For years, scientists have been studying how the body responds to its environment. The result of pressures or tensions and how the body responds to them is stress. A change in the body’s normal state can be caused by stressors which makes it respond in several different ways.

The release of certain hormones is included in these changes, and this is known as the stress response.
The effect of this stress response and the overall impact of stress on complications regarding health in a long term is still being explored by scientists.

The Risk Of Hypertension May Be Raised By High Levels Of Stress

Multiple hormones are involved in the body’s stress response. It is complex and involves cortisol.
Energy levels are increased, and this helps the body to react to emergencies. The adrenal glands produce cortisol.
A key role is played by stress in the release of catecholamines.

The Risk Of Hypertension May Be Raised By High Levels Of Stress

Dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine are a few examples of catecholamines.
Adrenaline and noradrenaline play a key role in the fight or flight response of the body.
The body is prepared to face or evade danger by the fight or flight response when the body is exposed to a perceived threat.

The body has a higher level of these hormones when put under stress.
Health problems can be caused if the exposure to stress is prolonged as these responses are supposed to be short-term.

A person’s risk of having a stroke or a heart attack is increased by chronic stress that leads to high blood pressure.
People may resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms that put them at risk for poor physical health when they are exposed to stress.

The American Health Association has recommended and focused its efforts on educating people on why stress-reduction techniques are a vital component of overall health.

Dr. Hele Lavretsky, a psychiatry professor emphasized how people, for stress reduction, can utilize several techniques. This includes looking for moments that bring joy during a day, slowed breathing techniques, and searching for things that they can be grateful for. The relationship between stress hormones and the risks posed by cardiovascular problems is still being explored by scientists.

Scientists from the University of California in Los Angeles led a prospective cohort study that examined the association between higher levels of stress hormones and increased risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular events.
412 adults between the ages of 48 and 87 were included in the study.

There were no previous incidents of high blood pressure in the participants. This was one of the key differences between the previous studies and the current study.

A diverse mix of participants was involved in the study. This includes white, black, and Hispanic people.
The health insurance status, education level, and income of the participants were considered by the researchers.
Lifestyle factors were also examined by the researchers. This included whether they drank alcohol, did any physical activity, or smoked.

The health status of the participants was also looked at. This includes whether they used any medication, their diabetes status, body mass index, and kidney function. The researchers asked a subset of participants at the start of the study to participate in a 12-hour overnight urine collection.

The urine was analyzed for epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, and cortisol. Participants who had no hypertension at baseline were included by researchers.

Researchers calculated the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular events linked with urinary stress hormones with the help of multivariable Cos proportional hazard models.

Higher levels of stress hormones in urine have been associated with a greater risk of high blood pressure. It was found that the links were stronger among younger people.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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