Increased blood pressure reactions to acute mental stress are associated with 16-year cardiovascular disease mortality.

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  • MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
  • MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit


Exaggerated cardiovascular reactions to acute psychological stress may be involved in the etiology of cardiovascular pathology. The present analysis examined the association between the magnitude of systolic and diastolic blood pressure reactions to stress and cardiovascular disease mortality. Participants were 431 (229 women) from the West of Scotland Twenty-07 Study, aged 63 years at the time of stress testing, where blood pressure was measured during resting baseline and mental arithmetic stress. Participants' vital status was tracked for the next 16 years, during which time 38 had died of cardiovascular disease. Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure reactions were positively associated with cardiovascular disease mortality. This association could reflect the long-term erosive effects of exaggerated reactivity on the vasculature as well as its short-term capacity to trigger acute cardiovascular events.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1444-1448
Number of pages5
Issue number10
Early online date7 Sep 2012
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

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