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Health Line

People who have high blood pressure should take it easy on the caffeine when they face stressful situations, US doctors said.A study published in the American Journal of Hypertension suggested that caffeine can push blood pressure to unhealthy levels when taken in stressful situations.

William Lovallo and colleagues at the Veterans Affairs Medical Centre in Oklahoma City found that caffeine alone sent blood pressure up in 31 male medical students they tested. "The contribution of stress and caffeine caused additive risks in blood pressure," they wrote in their report. Caffeine also raised levels of cortisol, a hormone released during stress. On an average, caffeine alone raised blood pressure by 5-15 mm of mercury – which, for example, would push a blood pressure reading of 120/60 up to 135/7.Anything over 140/90, is considered unhealthy.

Other studies show that people turn to caffeine when they are stressed – and said that this might be precisely the wrong hing to do. "Given the cumulative effects of stress and caffeine, it may be beneficial for individuals at high risk for hyper tension to refrain from routine use of caffeinated beverages."

(As reported in The Hindu Business Lines)
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