HomeHealth & FitnessHigh blood pressure may change your personality traits, study says

High blood pressure may change your personality traits, study says

High blood pressure is a major risk for heart disease and is known to be associated with psychological factors, such as anxiety, depression, and neuroticism. It is a personality trait characterized by sensitivity to negative emotions, including anxiety and depression.

In a recent finding published in the journal ‘General Psychiatry’. Neurotic personality traits are most likely to be caused by dilated blood pressure, which is the lower of the two numbers in the blood pressure reading. And keeping it under control can help curb neurotic behavior, anxiety, and heart and circulatory diseases.

It is not clear which are the causes and to find out the researchers used a technique called Mendelian randomization. This technique uses genetic variants as a proxy for a particular risk factor, in this case blood pressure, to obtain genetic evidence in support of a causal relationship, reducing biases inherent in observational studies.

Between 30% and 60% of blood pressure is caused by genetic factors, and more than 1000 genetic single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs for short, have been associated with it. SNPs help predict an individual’s response to certain drugs, sensitivity to environmental factors, and the risk of developing diseases.

The researchers studied datasets from 8 large-scale studies containing whole-genome DNA extracted from blood samples from people of predominantly European ancestry (genome-wide association studies). They performed Mendelian randomization in blood pressure, systolic blood pressure (736,650 samples), diastolic blood pressure (736,650), pulse pressure (systolic minus diastolic blood pressure; 736,650), and 4 symptoms of high blood pressure (above 140/90 mm Hg). implemented. , 463,010) with 4 psychological states—anxiety (463,010 samples), depressive symptoms (180,866), neuroticism (170,911) and subjective well-being (298,420).


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The analysis showed that hypertension and diastolic blood pressure had significant causal effects on neuroticism, but not on anxiety, depressive symptoms, or subjective well-being. But after adjustment for multiple testing, only diastolic blood pressure was significantly associated with neuroticism (over 90%) based on 1074 SNPs.

The researchers acknowledge some limitations of their findings. For example, it was not possible to completely exclude pleiotropy where a single gene can influence multiple traits. And the findings may not apply more broadly to people of European ancestry. But blood pressure links the brain and heart, and so may promote the development of personality traits, they explain.


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“Individuals with neuroticism may be sensitive to criticism from others, often self-critical, and easily develop anxiety, anger, worry, hostility, self-consciousness, and depression. Neuroticism has been linked to anxiety and mood disorders.” seen as a major motivating factor. Individuals with neuroticism more frequently experience high mental stress, which can lead to elevated [blood pressure] and heart disease,” the first author was quoted as saying.

Also read: High Blood Pressure: High BP for a long time affects the kidney; Check kidney disease symptoms and how to control BP

Appropriate measures taken to control blood pressure may be beneficial for the reduction of neuroticism, neuroticism-inducing mood disorders, and cardiovascular diseases.

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