Genetic Determinants of Individual Differences in Cardiovascular Reactivity
In this chapter we shall explore the genetic origins of individual differences in cardiovascular reactivity by examining studies that have employed the classical twin design to investigate the genetic and environmental determination of individual variation in cardiovascular response to psychological challenge. While the following research provides a good example of how behavior genetics can usefully be employed in behavioral medicine, it is not the only case of the successful marriage of these two disciplines. Other instances include the study of metabolic rate (Hewitt et al., 1991), obesity (Fabsitz et al., 1992; Stunkard et al., 1986; see also Stunkard, 1991), type A behavior (Sims et al., 1991; Tambs et al., 1992), and addictive behaviors including smoking (Carmelli et al., 1992) and drinking (Heath et al., 1991). The interfacing of behavior genetic analysis strategies and behavioral medicine experimental paradigms is likely to increase in the future as the power of these genetic strategies is realized more and more by researchers in behavioral medicine (see Turner et al., 1993a).
KeywordsTwin Pair Behavioral Medicine Twin Study Cardiovascular Reactivity Dizygotic Twin
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