To examine the effect of stressful life events and chronic emotional distress in the development of hypertension, we compared the blood pressure of 1,150 Israelis (aged 50 to 80) who immigrated from Europe before 1939 with that of 2,159 European-born Israelis who immigrated to Israel after World War II. Most of the subjects were examined as part of a periodical health examination offered by their employers. There were only minor differences in age, height, country of origin and level of education between the two groups. There was no difference in the prevalence of hypertension between the two immigration groups, and a similar percentage of both groups were receiving treatment. Hypertension was defined as any one or more of the following: supine systolic greater than or equal to 160 mm Hg, diastolic greater than or equal to 95 mm Hg, or treatment with antihypertensive medications. Analysis of variance showed that age, sex and degree of obesity were the main factors contributing to the blood pressure. Although the degree of emotional stress was greater in the Holocaust survivors, there was no correlation between level of emotional distress, satisfaction with life or number of psychosomatic complaints and level of blood pressure or prevalence of hypertension.
|Number of pages
|Israel Journal of Medical Sciences
|Published - 1 Apr 1987
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