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Supportive spouse help ease job strain on blood pressure

When job strain causes stress, a supportive spouse might help lower the negative impact on a person's blood pressure, according to a study. In addition it was found that job strain had a significant impact, both clinically and statistically, on blood pressure. //

Job strain and low marital cohesion, or a lack of support from a spouse, was related to an increase of systolic 2.8 mmHg of blood pressure over one year. High marital cohesion in the presence of job strain was related to a decrease of 2.5 systolic blood mmHg over one year.

Blood pressure was measured at baseline and at one year with an ambulatory blood pressure monitor over 24 hours of a usual workday. At baseline, 34 percent of the group had ambulatory blood pressure of 130/80 mmHg or higher.

Researchers administered the Job Content Questionnaire, a widely used and well-validated test for job strain. Those with job strain were in the lowest twentieth percentile of the key component of high job demands and low decision latitude. The key components of job strain are high job demand and decision latitude.

Marital cohesion was evaluated by administering the Dyadic Adjustment Scale, a widely used and established test. The amount of support given at home in the relationship is a major definition of marital cohesion.

Following the study, it has been advised that people who have high job strain and/or low marital cohesion should see their family doctor for a blood pressure check. If a harmonious relationship has deteriorated, blood pressure needs to be checked.

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