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March 1957

Life Stress and Essential Hypertension

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1957;77(3):282. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1957.02330330068012

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This book is one in which hypertension is viewed in the context of the lives of hypertensive patients. Variations in hemodynamics are correlated with events of significance in the life situation, and short-term situations of emotional stress are shown to be capable of altering underlying mechanisms, such as peripheral vascular resistance, renal blood flow, and blood viscosity.

The natural history of the disease has been carefully documented in 114 patients, along with changes in their life experience. Fourteen of these subjects lost all evidence of hypertension in association with learning to be less restrained and more assertive in their patterns of living. The authors are cautious not to attribute essential hypertension to any single causative agent, but they provide convincing support for the relevance of personality adjustment to the process. The book reports studies of not only essential hypertension but also other circulatory disorders in the framework of the patient's

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