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

Authors
  • Saarinen, Aino I L1, 2
  • Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa2
  • Hintsa, Taina3
  • Pulkki-Råback, Laura2
  • Ravaja, Niklas2
  • Lehtimäki, Terho4
  • Raitakari, Olli5, 6, 7
  • Hintsanen, Mirka8
  • 1 Research Unit of Psychology, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 2000 (Erkki Koiso-Kanttilan katu 1), 90014, Oulu, Finland. , (Finland)
  • 2 Department of Psychology and Logopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. , (Finland)
  • 3 Department of Educational Sciences and Psychology, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland. , (Finland)
  • 4 Department of Clinical Chemistry, Fimlab Laboratories and Finnish Cardiovascular Research Center-Tampere, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland. , (Finland)
  • 5 Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland. , (Finland)
  • 6 Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland. , (Finland)
  • 7 Centre for Population Health Research, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland. , (Finland)
  • 8 Research Unit of Psychology, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 2000 (Erkki Koiso-Kanttilan katu 1), 90014, Oulu, Finland. [email protected] , (Finland)
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2020
Volume
27
Issue
5
Pages
527–538
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s12529-020-09886-5
PMID: 32347444
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

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. 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. 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. 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.

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