Elderly individuals may want to take nutritional supplements such as potassium to lower their blood pressure, as feelings of loneliness may increase their levels.
According to researchers from the University of Chicago, feeling lonely increases the blood pressure rate of individuals who are 50 years old and up. The scientists examined the possibility that loneliness could bring on feelings of depression and stress, both of which are known to increase blood pressure levels.
The study examined 229 people between the ages of 50 and 68 and found that there was a connection between their blood pressure levels and need for companionship. While researchers were able to make a direct connection between the two, it still took a number of years for the correlation to go into effect.
“The increase associated with loneliness wasn’t observable until two years into the study, but then continued to increase until four years later,” researcher Louise Hawkley said.
Hawkley concluded that individuals´ fears of not having social connections could play into their increased blood pressure levels.