Being alone can increase the risk of hypertension – especially in women. Learn about the connection between women, social isolation and high blood pressure.
According to researchers, social isolation can increase the risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) in women. On the other hand, the same studies show that isolation does not affect men the same way.
The data for the study consists of evaluating 28,238 Canadians (men and women) ages 45 to 85. These participants are part of a large continuing study on aging.
According to the study, single women had a higher risk of hypertension compared to married women. The higher risk of hypertension breakdown in percentages is as follows:
- Single women: 28% higher risk
- Divorced women: 21% higher risk
- Widowed women: 33% higher risk
Furthermore, the study also found significance in social connections.
The women with the largest social networks had connections ranging between 220 to 573 people. On the other hand, the women with the least amount of connections had fewer than 85 people in their social network.
According to the study, the women with the lowest connections were likelier to have hypertension by 15%
Social Isolation and Men
While social isolation seems to affect women and increases their risk for hypertension, men don’t face the same challenges. In turn, men living by themselves had lower risks of hypertension than those who had partners.
However, unlike with women, the size of a man’s social network had no significant effect on their blood pressure levels. Annalijn I. Conklin, an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia, is the senior author of the study.
Conklin believes that social ties are more meaningful in women than men when it comes to hypertension. “Social ties matter for cardiovascular health… and they matter more for women,” Conklin said.
You can find the study in the October 2020 edition of the Journal of Hypertension.
Improving Isolation While Social Distancing
It may be hard for some people to figure out how to connect with others during times of social isolation. The following are some tips you can follow to help keep you connected with loved ones, yourself, and the world around you.
- Use video chat. Regardless of the platform you decide to use, today’s technology-based world has made it easier to connect with others online. Setup regular meetups and activities online with friends, families, and even dates.
- Join online community groups. Local neighborhoods and clubs will sometimes have online groups where they discuss activities and ways to connect. Consider joining them and participating in your community from a safe distance.
- Practice mindfulness. Meditation and mindfulness can help you manage moments of stress through introspection and relaxation. There are a variety of free apps and web-based applications that provide multiple exercises and guidance.
- Try virtual yoga. There are various local instructors and online video channels that provide regular yoga and movement classes. Some are free and some are donation-based.
Other Tips for Improving Hypertension
Social isolation is only one of many factors affecting high blood pressure. If you want to improve your blood pressure health, the best thing you can do is lead a healthy life.
In addition to staying connected to others, you should exercise regularly, eat a well-balanced diet, and maintain a healthy weight. Social distancing periods can serve as a great time for self-improvement, especially when it comes to health.
Another tip you can try is adding heart health supplements to your routine, as they can give a much-needed boost to your system. Take L-arginine Plus, for example: it combines powerful ingredients that promote the natural production of circulation-boosting molecules.
The body naturally contains nitric oxide, molecules that widen blood vessels, leading to better blood flow and circulation. L-arginine Plus has ingredients that increase nitric oxide production and help the body from the inside.
Moreover, it supports healthy cholesterol levels, energy levels, recovery periods, and more. If you want to improve your blood pressure, stay connected with friends, lead a healthy lifestyle, and take L-arginine Plus for an extra boost.