Advertisement

Family History of Cardiovascular Disease, Physical Fitness, and Psychophysiological Reactivity to Mental Stress

  • Andrew Steptoe
  • David Molineux
Chapter
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)

Abstract

A study is described in which cardiovascular responses to mental stress tests were related to physical fitness and to family history of high blood pressure. 24 positive and 40 negative family history males aged 14–16 were assessed, and they were divided on the basis of sub-maximal exercise tests into equally sized fit and unfit groups. Blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen consumption and other measures were obtained during performance of a problem-solving task administered at easy and difficult levels, and easy and difficult versions of a video game. The results indicate that the problem-solving task elicited cardiac responses that were out of proportion with metabolic demands in comparison with the video game. Heart rate responses to the problem-solving task were greater in unfit than fit subjects, but only in the difficult condition (when active, effortful behaviour was required). Positive family history led to more sustained systolic pressure responses to the problem-solving task, and also to a delay in systolic pressure and heart rate recovery following tasks, in comparison with negative family history. No interactions between family history and physical fitness were observed. The implications of these results for the involvement of behavioural processes in the aetiology and management of cardiovascular disorders is discussed.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Allen, M. T., Obrist, P. A., Sherwood, A. and Crowell, M. D. (1987). Evaluation of myocardial and peripheral vascular responses during reaction time, mental arithmetic and cold pressor tasks. Psychophysiology, 24, 648–656.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, E.A., Mahoney, L.T., Lauer, R.M., & Clarke, W.R. (1987). Enhanced forearm blood flow during mental stress in children of hypertensive patients. Hypertension, 10, 544–549.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blix, A. S., Strømme, S. B., and Ursin, H. (1974). Additional heart rate — an indicator of psychological activation. Aerospace Medicine, 45, 1219–1222.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Brod, J. (1960). Essential hypertension. Haemodynamic observations with a bearing on its pathogenesis. Lancet, ii, 773–778.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carroll, D., Turner, J. R., and Hellawell, J. C. (1986). Heart rate and oxygen consumption during active psychological challenge: The effects of level of difficulty. Psychophysiology, 23, 174–181.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carroll, D., Turner, J. R., and Rogers, S. (1987). Heart rate and oxygen consumption during mental arithmetic, a video game and graded static exercise. Psychophysiology, 24, 112–118.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cox, R. H., Hubbard, J. W., Lawler, J. E., Sanders, B. J., and Mitchell, V. P. (1985). Exercise training attenuates stress-induced hypertension in the rat Hypertension, 7, 747–751.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Davies, C. T. M. (1968). Limitations to the prediction of maximum oxygen intake from cardiac frequency measurements. Journal of Applied Physiology, 24, 700–706.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. DiBona, G.F. (1989). Sympathetic nervous system influences on the kidney. American Journal of Hypertension, 2, 119s–124s.Google Scholar
  10. Ditto, B. and Miller, S. B. (1989). Forearm blood flow responses of offspring of hypertensives to an extended stress task. Hypertension, 13, 181–187.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dotson, C. O., and Caprarola, M. A. (1984). Maximal oxygen uptake estimated from submaximal heart rate. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 18, 191–194.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Duncan, J. J., Farr, J. E., Upton, J., Hagan, R. D., Oglesby, M. E., and Blair, S. N. (1985). The effect of aerobic exercise on plasma catecholamines and blood pressure in patients with mild essential hypertension. Journal of the American Medical Association, 254, 2609–2613.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ferrara, M. A., Moscato, T. S., Pisanti, N., Marotta, T., Krogh, V., Capone, D., and Mancini, M. (1988). Is the sympathetic nervous system altered in children with familial history of arterial hypertension? Cardiology, 75, 200–205.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fredrikson, M., & Matthews, K.A. (1990). Cardiovascular responses to behavioral stress and hypertension: a meta-analytic review. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 12, 30–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kahneman, D., Tursky, B., Shapiro, D., and Crider, A. (1969). Pupillary, heart rate, and skin resistance changes during a mental task. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 79, 164–167.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Langer, A. W., Stoney, C. M., McCubbin, J. A., Hutcheson, J. S., Charlton, J. D., and Obrist, P. A. (1985). Cardiopulmonary adjustments during exercise and an aversive reaction time task: Effects of beta-adrenoceptor blockade. Psychophysiology, 22, 59–68.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Light, K.C., Koepke, J.P., Obrist, P.A., & Willis, P.W. (1983). Psychological stress induces sodium and fluid retention in men at risk for hypertension. Science, 200, 429–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Light, K. C., Obrist, P. A., Sherwood, A., James, S. A., and Strogatz, D. S. (1987a). Effects of race and marginally elevated blood pressure on responses to stress. Hypertension, 10, 555–563.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Light, K. C., Obrist, P. A., James, S. A. and Strogatz, D. S. (1987b). Cardiovascular responses to stress II. Relationships to aerobic exercise patterns. Psychophysiology, 24, 79–86.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Manuck, S.B. Kaplan, J. R., & Clarkson, T.B. (1983). Behaviorally induced heart rate reactivity and atherosclerosis in cynomolgus monkeys. Psychosomatic Medicine, 45, 95–108.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Mills, D. E., and Ward, R. P. (1986). Attenuation of stress-induced hypertension by exercise independent of training effects: an animal model. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 9, 599–605.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Molineux, D. and Steptoe, A. (1988). Exaggerated blood pressure responses to submaximal exercise in normotensive adolescents with a family history of hypertension. Journal of Hypertension, 6, 361–365.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Morell, M. A., Myers, H. F., Shapiro, D., Goldstein, I., and Armstrong, M. (1988). Psychophysiological reactivity to mental arithmetic stress in black and white normotensive men. Health Psychology, 7, 479–496.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Nestel, B. J. (1969). Blood pressure and catecholamine excretion after mental stress in labile hypertension. Lancet, i692–694.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Obrist, P. A., Light, K. C., James, S. A., and Strogatz, D. S. (1987). Cardiovascular responses to stress: 1. Measures of myocardial response and relationship to high resting systolic pressure and parental hypertension. Psychophysiology, 24, 65–78.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Perkins, K. A., Dubbert, P. M., Martin, J. E., Faulstich, M. E. and Harris, J. K. (1986). Cardiovascular reactivity to psychological stress in aerobically trained versus untrained mild hypertensives and normotensives. Health Psychology, 5, 407–421.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Pollak, M. H., and Obrist, P. A. (1988). Effects of autonomic blockade on heart rate responses to reaction time and sustained handgrip tasks. Psychophysiology, 25, 689–695.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Raven, J. C. (1938). Progressive Matrices. London: H. R. Lewis.Google Scholar
  29. Rozanski, A., Bairey, N., Krantz, D.S., Friedman, J., Rosser, K.J., Morell, M., Hilton-Chalfen, S., Hestrin, L., Bietendorf, J. & Berman, D.S. (1988). Mental stress and the induction of silent myocardial ischaemia in patients with coronary artery disease. New England Journal of Medicine, 318, 1005–1012.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sallis, J. F., Dimsdale, J. E. and Caine, C. (1988). Blood pressure reactivity in children. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 32, 1–12.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schulhan, D., Scher, H. and Furedy, J. J. (1986). Phasic cardiac reactivity to psychological stress as a function of aerobic fitness level. Psychophysiology, 23, 562–566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schulte, W., & Von Eiff, A.W. (1985). The importance of cardiovascular reactivity to different types of stress for the development of hypertension. In A. Steptoe, H. Rüddel, & H. Neus (Eds.), Clinical and Methodological Issues in Cardiovascular Psychophysiology (pp. 53–65). Berlin: Springer-Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sherwood, A., Light, K.C., & Blumenthal, J.A. (1989). The effects of aerobic exercise training on hemodynamic responses during psychosocial stress in normotensive and borderline hypertensive Type A men: a preliminary report. Psychosomatic Medicine, 51, 123–126.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Sinyor, D., Gold, M., Steinert, Y., and Seraganain, P. (1986). Experimental manipulation of aerobic fitness and the response to psychosocial stress: heart rate and self-report measures. Psychosomatic Medicine4a8 324–337.Google Scholar
  35. Slaby, A., Frantik, E., and Horvarth, M. (1987). Lower cardiovascular responsiveness in men with a positive family history of hypertension who remain normotensive in middle age. Activitas Nervosae Superior, 29, 285–289.Google Scholar
  36. Spielberger, C. D., (1979). Preliminary Manual for the State-Trait Personality Inventory (STPI). Tampa: Center for Research in Behavior Medicine and Health Psychology, University of Southern Florida.Google Scholar
  37. Spielberger, CD., Johnson, E.H., Russell, S.F., Crane, R.J., Jacobs, G.A., & Worden, T.J. (1985) The experience and expression of anger: construction and validation of an anger expression scale. In M.H. Chesney & R.H. Rosenman (Eds.), Anger and Hostility in Cardiovascular and Behavioral Disorders (pp. 5–30), Washington: Hemisphere.Google Scholar
  38. Steptoe, A. (1981). Psychological Factors in Cardiovascular Disorders. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  39. Steptoe, A. (1989). Psychophysiological interventions in behavioural medicine. In G. Turpin (Ed.), Handbook of Clinical Psychophysiology (pp. 215–239). Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  40. Steptoe, A (1990). The value of mental stress testing in the investigation of cardiovascular disorders. In L.R. Schmidt, P. Schwenkmezger, J.Weinman & S. Maes (Eds.) Health Psychology: Theoretic and Applied Aspects (pp. 309–329). London: Harwood.Google Scholar
  41. Steptoe, A., Melville, D., & Ross, A. (1984). Behavioral response demands, cardiovascular reactivity and essential hypertension. Psychosomatic Medicine, 45, 33–48.Google Scholar
  42. Steptoe, A., and Molineux, D. (1986). Evaluation of an electronic sphygmomanometer suitable for the self-monitoring of blood pressure. Behavior Research and Therapy, 24, 223–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Steptoe, A., and Vögele, C. (in press). The methodology of mental stress resting in cardiovascular research. Circulation.Google Scholar
  44. Steptoe, A., and Vögele, C. (in press). The methodology of mental stress resting in cardiovascular research. Circulation.Google Scholar
  45. Steptoe, A., Moses, J., Mathews, A., & Edwards, E. (in press b). Aerobic fitness, physical activity and psychophysiological reactions to mental tasks. Psychophysiology.Google Scholar
  46. Turner, J. R., and Carroll, D. (1985). Heart rate and oxygen consumption during mental arithmetic,a video game, and graded exercise: further evidence of metabolically-exaggerated cardiac adjustments? Psychophysiology, 22, 261–267.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Turner, J. R., Carroll, D., Costello, M., and Simms, J. (1988). The effects of aerobic fitness onadditional heart rates during active psychological challenge. Journal of Psychophysiology, 2, 91–97.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Steptoe
    • 1
  • David Molineux
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, St George’s Hospital Medical SchoolUniversity of LondonCranmer Terrace, LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations