SATURDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) — A supportive spouse can help soothe the negative effects of job stress on blood pressure, new research shows.
The year-long study of 216 men and women found that a combination of job stress and lack of spousal support was associated with an increase of 2.8 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure.
However, study volunteers who experienced job stress but had a supportive spouse showed a decrease in their hypertension of 2.5 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure.
Spousal support means talking things over on a daily basis, and it’s a key component of what the researchers called “marital cohesion,” researcher Dr. Sheldon Tobe, assistant professor of medicine, University of Toronto, said in a prepared statement. “Did partners talk about their daily activities? Did one partner pay attention and sympathize when the significant other had a stressful day? Did the partners spend time together?”
Tobe said that people with high job stress and/or low marital cohesion should see their family doctor for a blood pressure check. He also advised people to get their blood pressure checked if they’re in a formerly harmonious relationship that’s deteriorated.
“The medical model of healthcare does not include job strain, but stress at work and at home can modify the health of patients,” Tobe said.
The findings were presented Saturday at the American Heart Association’s annual fall High Blood Pressure Research meeting in Washington, D.C.