Phillips AC, Der G & Carroll D (2009) Self-reported health and cardiovascular reactions to psychological stress in a large community sample: Cross-sectional and prospective associations. Psychophysiology, 46 (5), pp. 1020-1027. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8986.2009.00843.x
Exaggerated cardiovascular 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 and prospective associations between reactivity and self-reported health. Blood pressure and heart rate were measured at rest and in response to an arithmetic stress task. Self-reported health was assessed concurrently and 5 years later. In cross-sectional analyses, those with excellent/good self-reported health exhibited larger cardiovascular reactions than those with fair/poor subjective health. In prospective analyses, participants who had larger cardiovascular reactions to stress were more likely to report excellent/good health 5 years later, taking into account their reported health status at the earlier assessment. The findings suggest that greater cardiovascular reactivity may not always be associated with negative health outcomes. Descriptors: Blood pressure, Heart rate, Acute psychological stress, Self-reported health The reactivity hypothesis considers that exaggerated cardiovas-cular reactions to acute psychological stress are a risk factor for cardiovascular pathology (Lovallo & Gerin, 2003; Schwartz et al., 2003). In support of this, several prospective studies have now shown with reasonable consistency that high reactivity confers an additional risk for a range of cardiovascular outcomes, including high blood pressure, carotid atherosclerosis, carotid intima thickness, and increased left ventricular mass (e.g.
Blood pressure; Heart rate; Acute psychological stress; Self-reported health
Psychophysiology: Volume 46, Issue 5