- Link strongest in women and those aged 25 to 44
- Doubling wages could reduce risk by up to 35 per cent
- More than 5,000 people were studied over three years
Study found low wages and high blood pressure were particularly linked among women
We know that being poorly paid can make the blood boil sometimes.
But it turns out low wages really are linked to high blood pressure.
A study found the connection was particularly pronounced in women and those aged 25 to 44.
Doubling the wages of these groups could reduce the risk of high blood pressure by 35 per cent in women and 30 per cent in young workers, the authors say.
The University of California report is believed to be the first to isolate the role of wages in high blood pressure.
The team studied 5,651 household heads and their spouses for three time periods, each spanning three years.
They then compared wages to reported high blood pressure and found that doubling the wage was associated with an a 16 per cent decrease in the risk of a hypertension diagnosis.
Professor J. Paul Leigh said: ‘Wages are part of the employment environment that easily can be changed.
'Policymakers can raise the minimum wage, which tends to increase wages overall and could have significant public-health benefits.’
He said the results were surprising because high blood pressure is more commonly linked to older people and men.
The study found doubling the wages of women could reduce the risk of high blood pressure by up to 35 per cent
He said women and younger employees who are on the lowest wages should be regularly screened.
Prof Leigh has called for additional research using different national data sets to investigate further the potential relationship between low wages and hypertension.
He said: 'If the outcomes are the same, we could have identified a way to help reduce the costs and personal impact of a major health crisis.