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Being a parent may help prevent high blood pressure, study concludes

Category: Blood and Blood Diseases

According to a recent study conducted at Brigham Young University, parenthood may be associated with lower blood pressure, especially among women.

Researchers conducted 24-hour blood pressure readings on nearly 200 participants and found that parents had a systolic BP that was 4.5 points lower than non-parents and a diastolic BP that was 3 points lower. The effect was even more pronounced in women, who had a 12-point and seven-point differential respectively.

"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 author Julianne Holt-Lunstad.

Researchers add that the findings are tied simply to parenthood and that the number of children a respondent has had no effect on blood pressure levels.

The study used a statistical analysis model to account for other factors related to blood pressure including age, exercise, body mass and smoking. For parents, the average BP reading was 116/71.

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