(Reuters Health) – People living in communities with rising crime rates may be more likely than those in safer neighborhoods to develop high blood pressure, a new study suggests.
Living in high-crime areas has long been linked to higher rates of heart disease and cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking, researchers note in the American Journal of Hypertension. But studies to date haven’t offered a clear picture of what happens when crime rates change over time.
“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,” said Dr. Corey Tabit, a cardiology researcher at the University of Chicago and the study’s senior author.
The researchers tracked shifts in blood pressure for 17,783 adults living in Chicago from 2014 to 2016, a period when crime surged in some communities. They also calculated violent crime rates in each…
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