Couples Often Share High Blood Pressure, Says Study

Researchers reveal that married heterosexual couples not only share the same last name but, at times, high blood pressure.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, says those who are married (or live together) and are middle-aged often both have high blood pressure.

Although high blood pressure is quite common, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting approximately 119.9 million Americans having high blood pressure, researchers looked into why many couples share high blood pressure.

The team collected data from 3,989 American couples, 1,086 English couples, 6,514 Chinese couples, and 22,389 Indian couples. Approximately 20% to 47% of couples mirrored each other's high blood pressure in all four nations.

The group utilized information from four distinct studies: the 2015 to16 China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study, the 2017 to 19 Longitudinal Aging Study in India, the 2016 to 17 English Longitudinal Study on Ageing, and the 2016 to 17 Health and Retirement Study in the United States.

People were considered to have high blood pressure if:

  • Participants' systolic blood pressure was greater than 140 mm Hg, or their diastolic blood pressure was greater than 90 mm Hg.
  • If they responded in the affirmative when asked whether they had a history of high blood pressure.

Approximately 47% of spouses or partners in England, 38% of Americans, 21% of Chinese people, and 20% of Indian people reported having high blood pressure.

Women whose husbands had high blood pressure were 9% more likely to have high blood pressure in the U.S. and England, 19% more likely in India, and 26% more likely in China as compared to women whose husbands did not have high blood pressure.

Although more couples had high blood pressure in the U.S. and England, China and India showed more mirroring of high blood pressure, which may result from cultural backgrounds. With both nations having more family-oriented beliefs, they may mirror each other more, even regarding health.

While many couples enjoy the same hobbies, like taking a stroll or traveling across the globe together, health conditions like high blood pressure are something other than what couples are usually known to share. Some experts suggest it may be because couples share life habits, such as diet, exercise routine, sleep patterns, and more.

Dealing with high blood pressure

With almost half of the U.S. population dealing with high blood pressure, staying alert and managing your numbers is crucial. Aside from medication prescribed by medical professionals, there are lifestyle habits you could incorporate to control your blood pressure, including:

  • Watch your weight and make sure you're not overweight.
  • Stick to a healthy diet, such as consuming fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Exercise, whether it's a light jog, cardio, pilates, or anything that can get your body to move.
  • Staying away from alcohol and smoking. These can increase your blood pressure, so it is essential to try to stay away from both.
  • Getting sufficient sleep, preferably more than six hours every day.

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