According to literature, blood pressure is impacted by stress, emotional state, and tiredness. The objective of this research is to analyze the short-term effect of these factors on blood pressure.
Design and method:
A questionnaire enquiring about mood and tiredness was sent to users of Withings connected blood pressure monitors, through the Withings application. Only participants who had a blood pressure (BP) measurement in the last seven days and who declared to remember the conditions of their last measurement were eligible to the study. To analyze the effect of the studied factors on BP, questionnaire answers were associated with the difference between the last systolic blood pressure (SBP) reading and a baseline computed as the mean SBP in the six preceding months. All SBP measurements were collected automatically by the connected BP monitors.
In total, 3,412 participants (16% women, mean age 52.0, sd 12.2 years) from 111 countries were eligible. The mean baseline SBP was 127.3 (sd 11.8) mmHg, the mean SBP at the last measurement was 125.3 (sd 13.9) mmHg, and 1589 (47%) participants declared to take medication for high blood pressure.
The difference between the last measurement and the baseline was fitted to a linear model depending on the mood, and controlled for the hour of measurement. Compared to feeling neutral, feeling angry during the last measurement increased the difference to baseline by 4.0 mmHg (sd 1.2, p = 0.005), feeling stressed by 2.0 mmHg (sd 0.6, p < 0.001), and feeling sad by 0.7 mmHg (sd 1.2, not significant with p = 0.5). Feeling happy compared to neutral decreased the difference to baseline by 1.0 mmHg (sd 0.4, p = 0.01). Lastly, being tired increased the difference to baseline by 1.1 mmHg (sd 0.3, p = 0.001) compared to not being tired.
These results indicate a short-term effect of emotional state and tiredness on blood pressure. This effect needs to be further investigated in a longitudinal study, in which several data points for mood would be collected for each participant.