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Stress. 2003 Dec;6(4):297-9.

Chronic stress accelerates atherosclerosis in the apolipoprotein E deficient mouse.

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Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, International Centre for Health and Society, London, UK.


Conventional cardiovascular risk factors such as cholesterol and blood pressure do not account fully for variation in coronary heart disease suggesting the involvement of additional mechanisms. We have examined the effects of a chronic psychological stress protocol on the development of atherosclerosis in the apolipoprotein E knockout mouse. We observed a 3-fold increase in staining for atheroma accompanied by a 10-fold increase in corticosterone concentrations in mice stressed for 12 weeks. These data suggest that chronic mild stress can induce or accelerate the development of atherosclerosis.

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