Haemodynamic reactions to acute psychological stress and smoking status in a large community sample

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Exaggerated haemodynamic reactions to acute psychological stress have been implicated in a number of adverse health outcomes. This study examined, in a large community sample, the cross-sectional associations between haemodynamic reactivity and self-reported smoking status. Blood pressure and heart rate were measured at rest and in response to a 3-minute arithmetic stress task. Participants were classified as current, ex-, or non-smokers by their response to a simple prompt. Smokers had significantly smaller SBP and DBP reactions to acute stress than ex- and non-smokers; current and ex-smokers had lower HR reactivity. These effects remained significant following adjustment for a host of variables likely to be associated with reactivity and/or smoking. Although the act of smoking acutely increases haemodynamic activity, the present findings contribute to a growing body of literature showing that smokers have blunted reactivity to mental stress. They also support the hypothesis that blunted reactivity may be characteristic of a range of dependencies. The present results also suggest that smoking status needs to be considered in the design and analysis of stress reactivity studies.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-278
Number of pages6
JournalInternational journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology
Volume73
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2009

Keywords

  • Smoking, Heart rate, Cardiovascular reactivity, Acute psychological stress, Blood pressure