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Working when tired increases blood pressure

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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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