A recently published study, appearing in the journal Circulation, contends that traumatic childhood events have the potential to elevate an individual’s blood pressure, during adulthood.
The research study monitored 400 participants, over a span of 20 years. It determined that those participants which had endured multiple stress-inducing events, during their adolescent years, had a higher probability of developing high blood pressure when they were 30 years old.
Though MarcosAssi tells us the association of adolescent trauma to high blood pressure is inconclusive, it does suggest that stress reduction therapy and mental health care may be instrumental in its prevention. The participants of the study ranged in ages from 5 to 16 and demonstrated no outward indications of high blood pressure.
The participants completed questionnaires, at age 18, about their childhood experiences, seeking to know if they encountered any form of emotional, physical or sexual abuse or family dysfunction such as substance abuse, violence, or crime.
The conclusions of the study suggest that participants, at the age of 38, who had endured a minimum of four childhood traumatic events had average systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels 9.3 mmHg and 7.6 mmHg higher, in comparison to participants that were not exposed to any form of trauma.
With the study being observational, it can’t prove that trauma causes high blood pressure though understanding consequences of adversity, as it pertains to one’s health, can contribute to prevention efforts.