Monday, May 6, 2013

The joys of high blood pressure

A new study has found that “teenagers with high blood pressure appear to have better psychological adjustment and enjoy higher quality of life than those with normal blood pressure.” These results were a bit counterintuitive, so the researchers tried to come up with plausible explanations. Some of these are psychological, but one is mostly physiological in nature – they speculate that “high blood pressure may actually act to dampen negative emotions.”

Indeed, if this effect is relatively robust, it could even lead to a slight delusional or hypomanic state (as a result of increased oxygen supply and other physiological side effects). Such a subclinical condition might then produce some curious psychological data – and perhaps steer affected individuals into peculiar decision-making patterns and lifepaths. Those with low blood pressure, on the other hand, should experience the opposite symptoms and would inhabit a different mental "matrix."

P.S. Oh, and another article introducing the same German study says high blood pressure had some performance-enhancing effects, too - the researchers found a correlation between hypertension and schooling success.