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J Psychosom Res. 2009 Jul;67(1):37-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2008.12.002. Epub 2009 Mar 4.

Cardiovascular activity and the antibody response to vaccination.

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  • 1School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK. a.c.phillips@bham.ac.uk



To examine the relationship between cardiovascular activity in response to acute psychological stress and the antibody response to vaccination.


Fifty-seven healthy participants were vaccinated with the trivalent influenza vaccine and meningococcal A+C polysaccharides. Antibody levels were measured at baseline and 5-weeks post-vaccination. Cardiovascular activity was measured at rest, during, and following a mental arithmetic stress task in 54 participants.


Participants demonstrating a fourfold increase in antibody titre to the A/Panama and B/Shangdong influenza strains and to meningococcal A showed greater blood pressure reactions toward the end of the acute stress task. In addition, there was some evidence of delayed diastolic blood pressure recovery in those who were responders to A/Panama and B/Shangdong influenza strains.


The present results suggest that heightened cardiovascular reactivity to stress and delayed recovery may not necessarily be detrimental to all aspects of health and may be associated with an enhanced immune response to antigen challenge.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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