SEP 03, 2020 11:15 AM PDT

Does Hypertension Make It Harder to Recognize Others Emotions?

WRITTEN BY: Jasper Cantrell

Have you ever felt your blood pressure rise when you get angry or stressed? Well, this phenomenon is unique in that it links your emotional state to your cardiovascular state. Research into this particular field is lacking, but a team from Favaloro University in Argentina wanted to look into it more.

The study in question sought to identify if hypertension affected how one recognizes emotion. The team developed a testing method that would consider things like ethnicity, sociodemographic variable, and mental faculties. The team notes that many of the other studies in this field fail to account for these factors, leading to inaccurate results.

This new study brought together 116 volunteers from two countries split into hypertension patients and healthy patients. The patients were given a proven emotion recognition test commonly used to examine things such as neurological health. The group from the second country (name not given) also had a heart rate test (they had to keep track of their own heart rate) to test the group’s interoception (self-awareness).

Overall, the hypertensive patients performed poorly on every test compared to the healthy group. They were slower in recognizing negative emotions, and slower in identifying their heartbeats. There was no difference in how either group recognized positive emotions, though.

The results were also independent of wealth, ethnicity, and other factors that often confound data. The data from this study shows that hypertension patients were slower in recognizing negative emotions, which they suggest is because negative emotions tend to elicit stronger feelings than positive ones. The results from the heart rate test also show that hypertension patients are impaired in their interoception. These two results combined suggest hypertension causes a sort of deadening to emotional and internal stimuli. Whether it is a biological cause or mental, the team could not identify.

The study concludes, “Further efforts in this direction could contribute to improving the clinical evaluation of this deficit and eventually be tested as a critical marker for diagnosing the disease, tracking its evolution, and assessing the patients’ response to treatment.”

Sources: Nature Scientific Reports, Rotman Institute of Philosophy

About the Author
  • Hey everyone! My name is Jasper and, considering I am pretty new here to Labroots, I figured I would introduce myself. I received my bachelor’s from the University of California at Riverside back in 2016. I started off my career a few years ago with a job at a University over in New York, before moving over into the industry. I'm happy to be writing content for Labroots, and I hope you enjoy it!
You May Also Like
AUG 15, 2020
Cardiology
Following Platelets to Diagnose Myocarditis
AUG 15, 2020
Following Platelets to Diagnose Myocarditis
The heart is a sensitive thing, prone not just to metaphorical heartbreak, but genuine issues if not taken care of. Myoc ...
AUG 20, 2020
Cardiology
A New Test to Discern Kawasaki Disease from Sepsis
AUG 20, 2020
A New Test to Discern Kawasaki Disease from Sepsis
Kawasaki disease is a rare cardiovascular disease affecting children under the age of five. If untreated, there is a cha ...
AUG 27, 2020
Cardiology
Are Dry Mouth and Hypertension Connected?
AUG 27, 2020
Are Dry Mouth and Hypertension Connected?
Dry mouth is one of those things you sort of ignore until you can refill your water bottle. Maybe you should take a seco ...
AUG 29, 2020
Cardiology
Protecting the Heart Against Damage from Mechanical Stress
AUG 29, 2020
Protecting the Heart Against Damage from Mechanical Stress
Heart failure is a traumatic event that can have long-lasting consequences. Often, after an adverse cardiac event, the h ...
SEP 21, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Smart Wearable Patch Signals Trouble Following Traumatic Injury
SEP 21, 2020
Smart Wearable Patch Signals Trouble Following Traumatic Injury
An ambulance pulls up to the site of a car accident, sirens blazing. Paramedics assess the crash victims, looking for si ...
OCT 14, 2020
Immunology
Happiness Linked to Heart Attack Risk
OCT 14, 2020
Happiness Linked to Heart Attack Risk
Asking patients questions about their personal lives could predict their future risk of a heart attack. A study, publish ...
Loading Comments...