International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 181–186 | Cite as

Ethnic differences in cardiovascular responses to laboratory stress: A comparison between asian and white americans

  • Biing-Jiun Shen
  • Laura R. Stroud
  • Raymond Niaura


Compared to other ethnic groups, Asian Americans show significantly lower rates of cardiovascular disease (CVD). We tested the hypothesis that Asian Americans would show reduced cardiovascular responses to laboratory stressors than Caucasians. Forty-three Asians (18 men, 25 women) and 77 Caucasians (36 men, 41 women) with a mean age of 24 years (SD = 3.93) participated in a stress reactivity protocol consisting of four tasks (speech, serial subtraction, mirror tracing, handgrip) while heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were measured. Asian Americans demonstrated overall lower reactivity across tasks for SBP F(1,117 = 7.48, p < .01) and a trend toward lower HR response F(1,117 = 3.18, p < .10). A significant ethnicity by task interaction was observed for HR reactivity F(3,351 = 2.94, p < .05) such that Caucasians showed greater responses for the subtraction task.

Key words

Asian American Caucasian American cardiovascular reactivity ethnic differences 


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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Biing-Jiun Shen
    • 1
  • Laura R. Stroud
    • 2
  • Raymond Niaura
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MiamiFloridaUSA
  2. 2.Centers for Behavioral and Preventive MedicineBrown Medical School, and The Miriam HospitalRhode IslandUSA

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