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Childhood Trauma Linked to High Blood Pressure Later in Life

Traumatic events during childhood – as well as growing up with abuse, neglect or a dysfunctional family – may increase the risk of developing high blood pressure later in life, a small study suggests.

Researchers followed about 400 people over more than two decades and found that, after adjusting for socioeconomic factors and medical history, those who experienced several extremely stressful events during childhood had a much steeper rise in blood pressure at age 30.

The link doesn’t prove that childhood trauma causes adult high blood pressure, but it does raise the possibility that mental health care or stress reduction might play a role in prevention.