Does Compassion Predict Blood Pressure and Hypertension? The Modifying Role of Familial Risk for Hypertension

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Background This study investigated (i) whether compassion is associated with blood pressure or hypertension in adulthood and (ii) whether familial risk for hypertension modifies these associations. Method The participants (N = 1112-1293) came from the prospective Young Finns Study. Parental hypertension was assessed in 1983-2007; participants' blood pressure in 2001, 2007, and 2011; hypertension in 2007 and 2011 (participants were aged 30-49 years in 2007-2011); and compassion in 2001. Results High compassion predicted lower levels of diastolic and systolic blood pressure in adulthood. Additionally, high compassion was related to lower risk for hypertension in adulthood among individuals with no familial risk for hypertension (independently of age, sex, participants' and their parents' socioeconomic factors, and participants' health behaviors). Compassion was not related to hypertension in adulthood among individuals with familial risk for hypertension. Conclusion High compassion predicts lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure in adulthood. Moreover, high compassion may protect against hypertension among individuals without familial risk for hypertension. As our sample consisted of comparatively young participants, our findings provide novel implications for especially early-onset hypertension.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume27
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)527-538
Number of pages12
ISSN1532-7558
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 515 Psychology
  • 3121 Internal medicine
  • Blood pressure
  • Compassion
  • Personality
  • Familial risk
  • Health behavior
  • Hypertension
  • EDUCATION-PROGRAM RECOMMENDATIONS
  • REVISED TCI-R
  • CARDIOVASCULAR RISK
  • CLONINGERS TEMPERAMENT
  • RESISTANT HYPERTENSION
  • UNITED-STATES
  • PERSONALITY
  • METAANALYSIS
  • INTERVENTIONS
  • REDUCTION

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