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Ann Behav Med. 2011 Oct;42(2):153-73. doi: 10.1007/s12160-011-9274-0.

Hemoconcentration and hemostasis during acute stress: interacting and independent effects.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Ohio University, Athens, OH, USA.



Acute psychological stress can produce significant hemoconcentration as well as prothrombotic changes in blood, both of which may have potentially harmful effects on the cardiovascular system. It is unclear whether these effects are independent or have influence on each other.


This review discusses research investigating the effects of acute psychological stress on hemoconcentration and hemostasis and explores future directions for psychohematology research. Physiology, associations with cardiovascular disease, and relationships between acute psychological stress are discussed independently for hemoconcentration and hemostasis, followed by an examination of the effects of stress-hemoconcentration on hemostasis.


Traditional methods of adjusting for stress-hemoconcentration effects (e.g., calculated plasma volume or hematocrit level corrections) may not be appropriate when examining stress-induced changes in hemostasis. The effects of acute stress on hemostasis should be examined in conjunction with hemoconcentration.

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