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Working when tired increases blood pressure

Fatigued individuals who continue to work hard have higher blood pressure increases than those who are not tired, according to research.

Findings were based on a study of 80 female undergraduates, who received prizes for memorising random three-letter sequences, called trigrams.

Before the memorisation period, subjects were asked to complete a survey including questions about how they felt.

Investigators monitored heart rate and blood pressure increases during the task and found those who were fatigued were more likely to have a higher increase in blood pressure.

Report author, Rex Wright, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said: ‘Individuals who experience chronically exaggerated cardiovascular responses are believed to be at greater health risk than individuals who do not. Thus, the implication is that chronic fatigue may pose a health risk under some performance conditions.’

International Journal of Psychophysiology (2008) 69: 1-8

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