According to a new study, the residents of low-crime communities present high blood pressure due to rising crime rates. That doesn’t affect those people living in high-crime regions. The research released in the American Journal of Hypertension also noted that individuals in high-crime neighborhoods are more likely to develop diabetes and other heart diseases, or be more prone to smoking and binge drinking.
“Our study demonstrates for the first time that rising violent crime rates are associated with an increase in patients’ blood pressure and healthcare system usage over time,” explained Dr. Corey Tabit, the study’s leading author and a researcher at the University of Chicago.
The scientists reviewed data on the blood pressure of about 18,000 people from Chicago, between 2014 and 2016 when rising crime rates were recorded. The results revealed that people living in low-crime communities showed high blood pressure because of rising crime rates.
High Blood Pressure Linked To Rising Crime Rates In Safe Neighborhoods
“Interestingly, a larger increase in blood pressure was observed in people living in lower-crime areas than in people living in higher-crime areas. This finding may suggest that people with chronically high exposure to crime may become accustomed to the conditions in their neighborhood which may insulate them from the negative effects of further increases in crime,” Dr. Tabit added.
People living in safer neighborhoods showed a 5 percent higher risk to develop high blood pressure when the crime rates in their vicinity increased. The study’s results might be biased due to other factors affecting the participants. Also, the researchers did not review to what extent the exposure to violence is influencing the health of each individual in part.
However, scientists came up with some tips. “Eating a balanced diet low in saturated fats and high in vegetables is a good way to maintain heart health for most people, although specific dietary needs also vary and patients should discuss their unique needs with their doctors,” as Tabit said. Quitting tobacco and alcohol use is also ideal for fighting high blood pressure.