Home Health and Fitness Blood Pressure Highly Likely To Cause Neurotic Personality Trait

Blood Pressure Highly Likely To Cause Neurotic Personality Trait

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Neurotic personality traits refer to patterns of emotional instability, anxiety, and self-doubt. People with high levels of neuroticism tend to experience negative emotions such as fear, guilt, and embarrassment, and may be more prone to anxiety and mood disorders. They may have difficulty coping with uncertainty and may engage in maladaptive behaviors such as avoidance and rumination. While neurotic traits are a normal part of the human experience, high-level neurotic traits can adversely affect an individual’s quality of life and functioning.

Managing it can reduce the risk of neurosis, anxiety, and cardiovascular disease.

New research published in open access journals general psychiatry We found that higher diastolic blood pressure and lower blood pressure readings were more likely to cause neurotic personality traits.

Researchers also suggest that managing diastolic blood pressure can reduce the risk of neurotic behavior, anxiety, and heart and cardiovascular disease.

Hypertension is a major risk for cardiovascular disease and is thought to be associated with psychological factors such as anxiety, depression, and neurosis.

However, it is not entirely clear which cause.

To find out, researchers used a technique called Mendelian randomization. It uses genetic variants as a surrogate for a particular risk factor (blood pressure in this case) to obtain genetic evidence supporting causation and reduces the biases inherent in observational studies.

Between 30% and 60% of blood pressure is genetic, with over 1000 genetic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs for short) associated with it. SNPs can help predict an individual’s response to certain drugs, susceptibility to environmental factors, and risk of developing disease.

Researchers utilized eight large-scale study datasets containing the entire genome.[{” attribute=””>DNA extracted from blood samples from people of predominantly European ancestry (genome-wide association studies).

They applied Mendelian randomization to the 4 traits of blood pressure—systolic blood pressure (736,650 samples), diastolic blood pressure (736,650), pulse pressure (systolic minus diastolic blood pressure; 736,650), and high blood pressure (above 140/90 mm Hg; 463,010) with 4 psychological states—anxiety (463,010 samples), depressive symptoms (180,866), neuroticism (170,911) and subjective wellbeing (298,420).

The analysis revealed that high blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure had significant causal effects on neuroticism, but not on anxiety, depressive symptoms, or subjective well-being.

But after adjusting for multiple tests, only diastolic blood pressure was significantly associated with neuroticism (over 90%), based on 1074 SNPs.

The researchers acknowledge certain limitations to their findings. For example, it wasn’t possible to completely exclude pleiotropy–where one gene can affect several traits. And the findings may not be more widely applicable beyond people of European ancestry.

But blood pressure links the brain and the heart, and so may promote the development of personality traits, they explain.

“Individuals with neuroticism can be sensitive to the criticism of others, are often self-critical, and easily develop anxiety, anger, worry, hostility, self-consciousness, and depression.

“Neuroticism is viewed as a key causative factor for anxiety and mood disorders. Individuals with neuroticism more frequently experience high mental stress, which can lead to elevated [blood pressure] and cardiovascular disease,” they wrote.

And they suggest that “adequate monitoring and control of blood pressure may be beneficial in reducing neurosis, neurosis-inducing mood disorders, and cardiovascular disease.”

See: Investigating the genetic causality between blood pressure and anxiety, depressive symptoms, neurosis and subjective well-being, Lei Kai, Yongling Liu and Lin He, 21 November 2022, Available here. general psychiatry.
DOI: 10.1136/gpsych-2022-100877

This research was funded by the Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai.

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