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Int J Psychophysiol. 2009 Sep;73(3):273-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2009.04.005. Epub 2009 May 4.

Haemodynamic reactions to acute psychological stress and smoking status in a large community sample.

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1
School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, England, UK. A.C.Phillips@bham.ac.uk

Abstract

Exaggerated haemodynamic 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 associations between haemodynamic reactivity and self-reported smoking status. Blood pressure and heart rate were measured at rest and in response to a 3-minute arithmetic stress task. Participants were classified as current, ex-, or non-smokers by their response to a simple prompt. Smokers had significantly smaller SBP and DBP reactions to acute stress than ex- and non-smokers; current and ex-smokers had lower HR reactivity. These effects remained significant following adjustment for a host of variables likely to be associated with reactivity and/or smoking. Although the act of smoking acutely increases haemodynamic activity, the present findings contribute to a growing body of literature showing that smokers have blunted reactivity to mental stress. They also support the hypothesis that blunted reactivity may be characteristic of a range of dependencies. The present results also suggest that smoking status needs to be considered in the design and analysis of stress reactivity studies.

PMID:
19397938
PMCID:
PMC2723754
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2009.04.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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