Skip to content

​Dysregulated Blood Pressure: Can Regulating Emotions Help?

​Despite having identified key physiological and behavioral risk factors, the prevalence of hypertension continues to rise, affecting two thirds of American adults 60 years or older. An important condition in its own right, hypertension is also a leading risk factor for cardiovascular diseases; thus, identifying additional modifiable determinants remains a public health priority. Psychological states and negative emotions more specifically have been proposed as risk factors, but the research findings are inconsistent. Additional prospective studies have recently been published increasing the availability of longitudinal data. The aim of this literature review is to evaluate these findings focusing on those from the last 3 years. We synthesize current research on whether negative (e.g., depression, anxiety) or positive (e.g., optimism) emotion-related factors are associated with high blood pressure onset. We discuss discrepant findings and propose considering emotion regulation as a novel approach to explain inconsistencies. Finally, we provide thoughts on future research directions.

Authors: Trudel-Fitzgerald C; Gilsanz P; Mittleman MA; Kubzansky LD

​Curr Hypertens Rep. 2015 Dec;17(12):92. doi: 10.1007/s11906-015-0605-6.

PubMed abstract

Explore all studies and publications

Back To Top