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The effects of stress on left ventricular ejection fraction

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The left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) was studied in 17 healthy volunteers with a new ambulatory left ventricular function monitor. Heart rate, EF, and blood pressure measurements were made during rest, a psychiatric stress interview, cold exposure, exercise, and eating. An increase in EF was seen during emotional stress (from 0.45±0.09 to 0.51±0.13, P<0.001). This increase was comparable to that observed during exercise (0.52±0.14) and eating (0.52±0.10, P<0.001). In contrast, cold exposure caused a decrease in EF (0.43±0.13, P<0.05). These observations demonstrate the powerful hemodynamic consequences of common behaviors as well as the utility and feasability of studying such behavioral factors in ambulatory subjects.

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Author information

Correspondence to Joel E. Dimsdale.

Additional information

Supported in part from grants HL24623 and HL36005 from the National Institutes of Health and by fellowships from the Canadian Heart Foundation (Dr. Kiess) and the Medical Research Council of Canada (Dr. Liu)

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Kiess, M.C., Dimsdale, J.E., Moore, R.H. et al. The effects of stress on left ventricular ejection fraction. Eur J Nucl Med 14, 12–16 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00252610

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Key words

  • Psychological stress
  • ejection fraction
  • Hemodynamics
  • Exercise
  • Nuclear medicine