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Psychophysiology. 2009 Sep;46(5):1020-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2009.00843.x. Epub 2009 May 28.

Self-reported health and cardiovascular reactions to psychological stress in a large community sample: cross-sectional and prospective associations.

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School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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