A study found that loneliness and social isolation increased more risk of high blood pressure and hypertension in women. As per the study, social isolation affects the health of both men and women but in different ways.
The research was carried out by a team from the University of British Columbia and published in the Journal of Hypertension. The study implies that middle-aged and older women who have less social involvement are more prone to suffer from hypertension, which also increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The researchers used the data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. They analyzed the social bonding of 28,238 adults who were among the age group of 45 to 85. It has found out that those women who are single, engaged in lesser than three social activities in a month, or who had less than 85 people in their contact list are more likely to have hypertension.
In fact, systolic blood pressure is found highest among the widowed, single, and socially inactive women. On average, blood pressure is highly detected in widowed women compared to married women. Widowed women are likely to suffer from hypertension across all categories.
Whereas the system is completely opposite in the case of men. Those men who are single with large social networks and lived with a bunch of people are found to have the highest blood pressure while those who had a smaller network and have lived alone had lower blood pressure.
Researchers also found that the social interactions of different people are very important. They also suggested that regular participation in social activities while maintaining a balanced diet and regular exercise is more important to balance a healthy lifestyle of single-living individuals than those who are socially active people.
The assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at UBC Annalijn Conklin told that isolated women usually had a higher sodium intake and suffered from obesity while men with less social ties are found less to suffer from obesity.
The study concluded that isolation has different effects on men and women. They also suggested the health care workers take care of more, old-widowed women who have less social involvement, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Taking care of their diet and their social interaction might reduce the change of high blood pressure, hypertension, and rescue them from heart attacks and strokes.