Marital differences in blood pressure and the risk of hypertension among Polish men

Eur J Epidemiol. 2005;20(5):421-7. doi: 10.1007/s10654-005-1752-x.


The aim of the study was to evaluate the relationship between marital status and blood pressure, and to assess the risk of hypertension in adult Polish men, after adjustment for BMI. Material comprised the data of 2,271 healthy men, aged 25-60, occupationally active inhabitants of Wroclaw (south-western Poland). Arterial hypertension was diagnosed when systolic blood pressure (SBP) > or =140 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) > or = 90 mm Hg. The following categories of marital status and educational level were applied: never married vs. currently married, and well-educated vs. poorly educated, respectively. The data on lifestyle elements were obtained from questionnaires. Multi-factorial analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) were used to compare mean values of SBP and DBP in married vs. never married in subsequent age categories with BMI as a covariate. Independent effects of marital status, life-style variables and body mass index (BMI) on the risk of hypertension in men were analysed using the multifactorial models of logistic regression. In our analysis an interesting epidemiological phenomenon was observed. Never married men had on average higher SBP and DBP than married men. Never married had also a higher risk of hypertension when compared to married men, even when adjusted for different demographic, socio-economic, life-style variables, and even that never married men had lower BMI than married subjects. Marital differences in psychological status (prolonged stress and low social support), dietary intake (mainly sodium and potassium intake) and economic aspects of living alone are suggested as factors, which might explain at least partly the marital diversity in blood pressure and the risk of hypertension in men.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Diastole
  • Educational Status
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Life Style
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Marital Status*
  • Middle Aged
  • Poland / epidemiology
  • Risk
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Systole