The next time your little one dumps a cup of coffee into your laptop keyboard, keep this in mind: A new study finds that having children may be linked to having lower blood pressure. Kvlehanc Researchers from Brigham Young University, the University of Utah and Cal State Long Beach took ambulatory blood pressure readings of 198 married men and women, aged 20 to 68, over one 24-hour period. About 70% of the couples had children of various ages. The subjects wore blood pressure monitors that took readings at random intervals during the day, including while they were sleeping, giving researchers a good idea of daily blood pressure highs and lows. Overall, parents scored 4.5 points lower than those without kids in systolic blood pressure (the top number that measures when the heart is contracting), and 3 points lower in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number that measures the heart at rest, in between heartbeats). Among women, the spread was even greater: Women with children showed a 12-point difference in systolic pressure and a 7-point difference in diastolic pressure compared with their counterparts without children. The researchers arrived at these numbers after accounting for such variables as age, body mass, exercise, being employed, and smoking. They note that although the study took blood pressure readings only once, other studies have shown the benefits of parenthood, including a higher sense of self-esteem from giving to others. On the flip side, studies have also shown that being a caregiver is associated with high levels of stress and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. “While caring for children may include daily hassles, deriving a sense of meaning and purpose from life’s stress has been shown to be associated with better health outcomes,” said lead researcher Julianne Holt-Lunstad, via a news release. Holt-Lunstad is in the department of psychology at BYU. The study appeared recently in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine. The Society of Behavioral Medicine is a multidisciplinary organization of clinicians, educators, and scientists dedicated to promoting the study of the
interactions of behavior with biology and the environment, and the application of that knowledge to improve the health and well being of individuals, families, communities and populations. Society of Behavioral Medicine.The Whole is Greater than the Sum of Its Parts. That’s the perfect metaphor for the Society of Behavioral Medicine, a multidisciplinary, non-profit organization founded in 1978. Each part, each discipline, can stand alone. But together – when nursing, psychology, medicine and public health form an interdisciplinary team – new perspectives emerge on human behavior, health and illness. When you join SBM, you contribute to that unique multidisciplinary team, and your disciplinary experience and expertise is an essential part of the Whole. SBM has created the premiere scientific forum for over 2,000 behavioral and biomedical researchers and clinicians to study the interactions of behavior, physiological and biochemical states, and morbidity and mortality. SBM provides the many disciplines represented with an interactive network for education and collaboration on common research, clinical and public policy concerns related to prevention, diagnosis and treatment, rehabilitation, and health promotion. news from sbm.org
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