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September 23, 1950

PSYCHE AND BLOOD PRESSUREOne Hundred Mental Stress Tests and Fifty Personality Surveys in Patients with Essential Hypertension

Author Affiliations


From the Hypertension Clinic and the Medical Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

JAMA. 1950;144(4):295-298. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920040009003

The psyche may be a participating or a precipitating factor in patients with hypertension for one of the following reasons: 1. The blood pressure varies upward with conscious mental or emotional tension and downward with conscious mental relaxation or calm. 2. Specific emotional abnormalities sometimes are associated with hypertension, and when these abnormalities are relieved the hypertension regresses. 3. Induced mental or emotional stress may be associated with elevation in the blood pressure, perturbation of renal blood flow and alteration in other dynamics of the circulation in normal persons and patients with hypertension. 4. Appropriate management of anxiety in patients with hypertension appears to modify favorably the subjective and possibly the objective condition of the patient while failure to deal successfully with anxiety or disregard of it appears to be associated with unfavorable progress both subjectively and objectively. 5. Certain personality patterns or habitual reactions may be characteristic of patients

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