In the age-old battle of sticks and stones versus words, the former always emerges victorious. After all, sticks and stones can break bones.

But words may have finally found a winning strategy— hurting the heart. Studies suggest using negative remarks in a relationship, be it business or romantic, raises blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

A Heartbreaking Realization- Analysis

One study suggests that negative comments can affect blood pressure levels Social Ties and Cardiovascular Function: An examination of Relationship Positivity and Negativity during Stress. Birmingham W., Uchino B., Smith T., et al. International Journal of Psychophysiology, November 2009; 74: 114-119.. Researchers measured the blood pressure of participants before, during, and after a simulated argument with either a positive or negative arguer (the negative arguer added phrases that blamed or belittled the other person, example: “you are failing to do the task right”) Social Ties and Cardiovascular Function: An examination of Relationship Positivity and Negativity during Stress. Birmingham W., Uchino B., Smith T., et al. International Journal of Psychophysiology, November 2009; 74: 114-119.. The findings? Those who received negative comments during an argument had higher blood pressure, or hypertension, than they did before the argument, whereas those free from insulting arguments had lower blood pressure Social Ties and Cardiovascular Function: An examination of Relationship Positivity and Negativity during Stress. Birmingham W., Uchino B., Smith T., et al. International Journal of Psychophysiology, November 2009; 74: 114-119.. Just how big a deal is high blood pressure? Research shows that high blood pressure causes up to 47% of cardiovascular deaths in middle-aged people, and my also cause kidney disease, damage to blood vessels, and loss of vision Attributable fractions of risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Hozawa A. Yamagata University, Graduate School of Medicine. Journal of Epidemeology, January 2011; 21: 81-86..

TLDR

Watch your words. Study suggests using negative comments can cause high blood pressure.

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