Psychological Factors Affecting Physical Conditions Like Hypertension & Asthma

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: What is Research? - Definition, Purpose & Typical Researchers

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:07 Direct & Indirect Factors
  • 1:27 Hypertension
  • 2:05 Hypertension Correlations
  • 3:23 Asthma
  • 4:07 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up


Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

Everyone knows that psychological issues bring all sorts of problems. But did you know they can affect physical ailments, like hypertension and asthma? In this lesson, we'll look at the different ways that psychological disorders can make physical problems worse.

Direct and Indirect Factors

Have you ever felt down in the dumps and discovered that you have less energy than you usually do? Or, maybe you get sick after you've been feeling particularly stressed. Many studies have shown that psychological factors can affect physical conditions.

There are two main ways that psychological factors can influence physical conditions: direct and indirect. Direct factors lead to a physical complication just because you have the psychological issue. For example, depression is a direct factor on insomnia; just having depression can lead to insomnia.

Compare that to indirect factors, which lead to physical complications because of the way the psychological issue impacts your behaviors. For example, anxiety can be an indirect factor for lung cancer, since people who feel anxious often smoke to relieve their anxiety, and smoking can lead to lung cancer.

Studies have shown that a higher proportion of people with anxiety have lung cancer than the general population. However, that doesn't mean that the studies have found that anxiety is a direct cause of lung cancer, only that the two go together in some way. When two things go together, but are not cause-and-effect, it is called a correlation. Let's look at two common physical ailments and how they can be affected by psychological issues.


One common physical ailment that can be affected by psychological issues is hypertension. Hypertension is the medical term for chronically high blood pressure. There are many other medical conditions that hypertension can increase the risk of, including heart disease, aneurism and kidney disease. It can even lead to premature death.

There are many causes of hypertension, including salt intake, genetics and environmental factors. However, in addition to these, there are several psychological conditions that can directly or indirectly affect hypertension.

Hypertension Correlations

Anger issues are correlated with hypertension. These can range from defensiveness and suppressed anger to personality disorders. Studies have shown that having anger issues increases your risk of hypertension, though again, they cannot say that anger is a direct cause of hypertension.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account