The relationship between blood pressure regulation and alexithymia variability in newly diagnosed essential hypertension patients
Keywords:Alexithymia, Essential hypertension, Blood pressure regulation, Toronto Alexithymia Scale
Background/Aim: Blood pressure disorder can accompany mood and various psychosomatic disorders. One of the signs of emotional disorganization is alexithymia, which is defined as the impaired ability to experience and express emotions. The relationship of hypertension (HT) with alexithymia is well known, but few studies show the change in alexithymia status after blood pressure regulation. Our study aimed to evaluate the level of alexithymia caused by optimal medical treatment in newly diagnosed essential HT patients. Methods: Fifty-six essential HT patients (33 males, 23 females) diagnosed with 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring were included in this cross-sectional study. All participants filled the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) during diagnosis and when blood pressure was regulated with treatment. Results: The mean age of the study group was 50.7 (9.9) years. There were twenty-three (41.1%) females. As expected, the systolic and diastolic blood pressure values were significantly lower after treatment (144.41 (9.11) / 89.42 (9.31) mmHg vs. 122.75 (7.27) /74.96 (3.18) mmHg, P<0.001 for both). While TAS-DIF (difficulty identifying feelings) and TAS-EOT (externally oriented thinking) did not significantly change after treatment, a significant decrease was observed in TAS-DDF (difficulty describing feelings) (14.29 (3.51) vs 12.57 (3.06), P<0.01). Total TAS score, TAS-20, was also significantly decreased after treatment (55.67 (8.82) vs 52.35 (7.71), P=0.036). Conclusion: Our findings show that TAS-DDF, one of the subscales of alexithymia, can be improved by regulating blood pressure. We think that psychiatric and emotional states should be evaluated in the follow-up of HT. It is also essential to increase the awareness of patients about coping with stress and stress management.
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