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Divorce and Health: Studies May Tie Divorce to High Blood Pressure and Obesity

Divorce and Health: Studies May Tie Divorce to High Blood Pressure and Obesity

A new study has discovered delayed side-effects to those who experienced long-term sleep troubles. The study found that those who have trouble sleeping after a divorce for more than 10 weeks are at risk for a rise in blood pressure. The study sought to find the link between divorce and major health problems, including early death. Investigators at the University of Arizona suggest sleep trouble could be one of the factors. Researchers studied 138 people who had been separated or divorce for around 16 weeks. Participants reported on the quality of their sleep during three lab visits spread over seven-and-a-half months, during which their blood pressure was recorded. Initially, the researchers did not identify a link between blood pressure and sleep problems. Eventually, however, they found a delayed effect. “We saw changes in resting blood pressure were associated with sleep problems three months earlier. Earlier sleep problems predicted increases in resting blood pressure over time,” said study co-author David Sbarra, an associate professor of psychology, in a university news release. “What we found was if you’re having sleep problems up to about 10 weeks after your separation, they don’t appear to be associated with your future increase in blood pressure,” Sbarra said. “However, after 10 or so weeks — after some sustained period of time — there seems to be a cumulative bad effect.” In other words, the longer an individual’s sleep problems continued, the higher their risk for high blood pressure. The study, which was published in the journal of Health Psychology, found a connection between higher blood pressure and divorce-related sleep problems, but did not establish a...