Blunted as well as exaggerated cardiovascular reactivity to stress is associated with negative health outcomes

Anna Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

14 Citations (Scopus)
295 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The reactivity hypothesis implicates exaggerated cardiovascular reactions to acute psychological stress in the development of hypertension and other cardiovascular disease outcomes. However, exaggerated cardiovascular reactivity has also been suggested as a mediator between a variety of psychosocial and behavioral risk factors and cardiovascular disease. Recent data analyses from the West of Scotland Twenty-07 study and our own group are discussed together, to show that blunted as well as exaggerated cardiovascular reactivity to stress may be associated with negative health outcomes. Blood pressure and heart rate were assessed at rest and during an acute mental arithmetic stress task. We show that depression and obesity are associated with blunted rather than exaggerated reactivity. These seemingly paradoxical results are discussed in terms of implications for the reactivity hypothesis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-192
Number of pages16
JournalJapanese Psychological Research
Volume53
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011

Keywords

  • obesity
  • cardiovascular reactivity
  • depression

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