A person’s diet, exercise habits, and stress levels can all have an impact on blood pressure, so it’s not surprising that your relationship status – and the strength of your relationship – can too.
Researchers at Brigham Young University found that people in happy marriages tended to have lower blood pressure than their single counterparts. People who were unhappily married, however, tended to have higher blood pressure than singles.
It is said that an unhealthy relationship causes your body to release stress hormones and your heart to beat faster. And these factors can push blood pressure up over time.
The link between relationships and cardiovascular health goes well beyond blood pressure. Studies have consistently reported that being married is associated with a lower risk of heart attack and better outcomes after heart surgery, especially for men.
What explains this pattern? Stress and other underlying biological factors (including blood pressure) are thought to be involved, but the emotional and tangible support that partners provide likely plays a role as well. It’s the caring behaviors – affectionate touches, thoughtful actions – that really make a difference in a person’s recovery.