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Ambulatory blood pressure in women: family history of hypertension and personality

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The presence of certain personality traits in individuals with a strong family history of hypertension was expected to increase ambulatory blood pressure (BP) in healthy working women. Ambulatory BP was recorded on two work and two off work days during waking and sleeping hours in healthy nurses, 24-50 years of age, with varying parental history: two hypertensive parents (n = 14); one hypertensive parent (n = 77); two normotensive parents (n = 112). BP during wake and sleep was potentiated in subjects with two hypertensive parents. Assessments were made of hostility (Cook-Medley Hostility Scale), defensiveness (Marlowe Crowne Social Desirability Scale), anxiety (Spielberger Trait Anxiety Inventory) and anger-out (Spielberger Anger Expression Scale). The offspring of two-parent hypertensive families who were hostile, defensive, anxious or did not express anger had elevated ambulatory BP, which was highest during work days. Preventive measures are particularly important for individuals with the combination of certain personality traits and a strong family history of hypertension, who may themselves be at risk for the development of hypertension.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2000

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