Behavioral Correlates of Cardiovascular Reactivity in School Children

  • T. H. Schmidt
  • H. Thierse
  • J. Eschweiler


Biological and behavioral factors have been isolated in animal and human research that are associated with both enhanced cardiovascular reactivity and elevated cardiovascular risk. Evidence related to this subject has been compiled in several chapters of this book supporting the hypothesis that pronounced and repeated transient rises of blood pressure and heart rate might accelerate the development of arteriosclerosis (see Anderson et al., Manuck et al., Koolhaas et al., von Hoist, Stohr, Dembroski and MacDougall, Herd, Matthews and Rakaczky, and Obrist et al., this volume). Such cardiovascular reactions may lead to intimal lesions (Hirsch et al. 1984) that increase the permeability of the arterial wall, allowing the passage of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol into the subendothelial region, where it induces the proliferation of smooth muscle cells (Ross and Glomset 1976). These changes are thought to be the beginning of the atherosclerotic process, which may start early in life (Enos et al. 1955; Paffenbarger and Wing 1967; McNamara et al. 1971; Newman et al. 1986). Investigations of children which include the testing of their cardiovascular reactivity therefore appear to be of special interest. A number of psychophysiologic studies in adults indicate an association between behavioral characteristics which are typical of the type A behavior pattern (TABP) and enhanced cardiovascular responses during challenging circumstances that are relevant to type A characteristics, although there are notable exceptions (Matthews 1982, 1983; Myrtek 1983; Myrtek and Greenlee 1984, Krantz and Manuck 1984).


Diastolic Blood Pressure Video Game Speech Activity Cardiovascular Reactivity Stepwise Multiple Regression Analysis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. H. Schmidt
    • 1
    • 2
  • H. Thierse
    • 3
  • J. Eschweiler
    • 2
  1. 1.Abteilung Epidemiologie und Sozialmedizin, Arbeitsgruppe VerhaltensmedizinMedizinische Hochschule HannoverHannover 61Federal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Psychosomatische AbteilungUniversitätsklinikenKöln 41Federal Republic of Germany
  3. 3.Psychologisches Institut I, Lehrstuhl 2Universität zu KölnKöln 41Federal Republic of Germany

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