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Title: Family history of cardiovascular disease is associated with cardiovascular responses to stress in healthy young men and women
Author(s): C.E. Wright, K. O'Donnell, L. Brydon, J. Wardle and A. Steptoe
Journal: Int.J.Psychophysiol.
Year: 2007
Volume: 63
Issue: 3
Pages: 275--282
Publisher address: Psychobiology Group, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, 1-19 Torrington Place, London, UK. caroline.wright@mssm.edu
File URL: vuams-pubs/Wright_2007.pdf
Keywords: Adaptation,Physiological, Adaptation,Psychological, Adolescent, Adult, blood, Blood Pressure, Body Mass Index, Cardiovascular Diseases, Chi-Square Distribution, Discrimination (Psychology), Disease, epidemiology, Family Health, Female, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, genetics, Heart, Heart Rate, Humans, Hypertension, Male, Parents, physiology, physiopathology, Pressure, psychology, Reference Values, Risk Factors, Smoking, Statistics,Nonparametric, Stress,Psychological
Abstract: Heightened cardiovascular stress responsivity is associated with cardiovascular disease, but the origins of heightened responsivity are unclear. The present study investigated whether disturbances in cardiovascular responsivity were evident in individuals with a family history of cardiovascular disease risk. Data were collected from 60 women and 31 men with an average age of 21.4 years. Family history of cardiovascular disease risk was defined by the presence of coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes or high cholesterol in participants' parents and grandparents; 75 participants had positive, and 16 had negative family histories. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP), heart rate and heart rate variability were measured continuously for 5 min periods at baseline, during two mental stress tasks (Stroop and speech task) and at 10-15 min, 25-30 min and 40-45 min post-stress. Individuals with a positive family history exhibited significantly greater diastolic BP reactivity and poorer systolic and diastolic BP recovery from the stressors in comparison with family history negative individuals. In addition, female participants with a positive family history had heightened heart rate and heart rate variability reactivity to stressors. These effects were independent of baseline cardiovascular activity, body mass index, waist to hip ratio and smoking status. Family history of hypertension alone was not associated with stress responsivity. The findings indicate that a family history of cardiovascular disease risk influences stress responsivity which may in turn contribute to risk of future cardiovascular disorders

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