Study finds ‘causal effect’ on neurotic behavior

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A new study shows that diastolic blood pressure can lead to neuroticism, which is associated with anxiety and mood disorders. VISUAL SPECTRUM/Stocksy
  • Blood pressure is a crucial component of health, with high blood pressure linked to an increased risk of serious physical health conditions.
  • How blood pressure might affect other areas of well-being, such as mental and psychosocial health, is not fully understood.
  • A new study proves it diastolic blood pressure can contribute to neuroticism. People with this personality type are more prone to anxiety and developing other mood disorders.
  • Blood pressure management can help manage mood disorders induced by neuroticism.

The relationship between physical and mental health is an area of ​​ongoing study.

One area of ​​concern is how hypertension may impact mental health outcomes such as anxiety and depression.

A new study recently published in general psychiatry found that diastolic blood pressure may have a causal effect on neuroticism.

This personality trait can contribute to anxiety and mood disorders. The study opens up the possibility for further research into this complex relationship.

Blood pressure involves the force of blood being pumped by the heart throughout the body.

There are two main readings for it: the systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure.

Systolic pressure is a measure of when the heart is contracting. Diastolic blood pressure measures when the heart is at rest.

High blood pressure can be dangerous and is a risk factor on top of that serious health problems, including strokes, vision loss, and heart failure. Researchers are still working to understand how blood pressure affects the components of mental health and mental illness.

The researchers in this particular study were interested in how blood pressure affects neuroticism. David Tzall, Psy.D., a licensed psychologist not involved in the study, offered insight into the neurotic personality type:

“Neuroticism covers many different parts of a personality and doesn’t necessarily encompass one thing. Those with higher neuroticism scores are likely to be more sensitive to their emotions or situations, worry disproportionately about a situation, and have high rates of anxiety. While some people may view neuroticism as negative, it is neither good nor bad. Neuroticism has many adaptive qualities and can be of great use to someone. It is viewed with a negative perception, but this is not accurate.

Neurosis it’s not a mental health disorder, but people with this personality type are more prone to negative emotions and mood swings.

Neuroticism can also be a risk factor for mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and mood disorders.

For the present study, the researchers wanted to see if they could identify a causal relationship between four components of blood pressure (systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, pulse pressure, and hypertension) and four psychological states (anxiety, depression, neuroticism, and well-being).

The researchers used a unique technique called Mendelian randomization in their work. This method looks at genetic variants to help determine if a specific factor is causing a particular outcome. This is a way to indirectly cause the study in a way that doesn’t harm the study participants. The authors used genome-wide association studies to collect their data.

Most of the factors examined did not become significant. The major exceptions were the relationship between diastolic blood pressure and neuroticism.

The results indicated that diastolic blood pressure has a “causal genetic effect on neuroticism.”

Based on these findings, the researchers note that “appropriate blood pressure management may reduce neuroticism, neuroticism-inducing mood disorders, and cardiovascular disease.”

Dr. Melody Hermel, a cardiologist at United Medical Doctors in Southern California who was not involved in the study, shared her thoughts on the research with Medical News Today:

“Previous studies have found an association between anxiety disorders and hypertension. The strengths of this study include the use of GWAS [Genome-wide association studies] datasets with large samples. In general, the association between DBP [diastolic blood pressure] and neuroticism aligns with our understanding of the deleterious effects of stress on the body.

This study indicates the need for more research into the relationship between mental health, emotions, and blood pressure.

It has several limitations due to the nature of the study and its research methods. The researchers mainly used genetic information from European populations. This indicates the need for more diverse follow-ups.

The researchers also recognized the possibility of bias in the findings regarding the psychological characteristics that cause blood pressure characteristics.

There is also the possibility that a gene influenced more than one trait (pleiotrophy). Dr. Hermel also noted his thoughts on ongoing research in this area:

“The specific causal relationship between DBP [diastolic blood pressure] and neuroticism is a little hard to tease. As the authors note, neuroticism is a complex trait, and studying it independently of anxiety and depression can produce bias. In the age of machine learning, advanced analysis that aggregates the characteristics of anxiety-based disorders could be considered to better understand their relationship to hypertension.

This study adds to a growing body of evidence that it is essential to control blood pressure to keep it in a healthy range.

The findings suggest that blood pressure control may influence other areas of well-being, such as mental and emotional health.

Therefore, taking steps to control blood pressure may be essential to maintaining emotional well-being and may help curb some of the effects of neuroticism.

Controlling your blood pressure can involve both lifestyle changes and sometimes the use of medications.

“Blood pressure management requires a multifaceted approach that combines proper monitoring, lifestyle changes, and sometimes medications,” says Dr. Jim Liu, a cardiologist at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center who was not involved in the study, said MNT extension.

Dr. Liu explained that the first step in managing blood pressure involves monitoring blood pressure levels, typically at home and during doctor appointments.

“If your blood pressure is high, lifestyle measures, such as weight loss, adherence to a low-sodium diet, and exercise are usually recommended,” says Dr. Liu said.

“If blood pressure medications are needed, it’s important to take them as directed and maintain regular follow-up with health care.” [professionals].”


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