Psychological Factors in Hypertension Development and Treatment

  • T. Rutledge


This chapter begins with the ambitious aim of reviewing the evidence for psychosocial factors in the development and treatment of hypertension. The literature base is now nearly a century old, and comprises well over a thousand empirical and narrative manuscripts. The methodologies employed, psychological constructs of interest, and theoretical underpinnings in this research are many and varied, reflecting the numerous trends and cultural zeitgeists of the previous decades. At the time of this writing, the relationship between psychological factors and hypertension is a topic of growing interest, spurred by recent reviews and the continuing influx of prospective data from several large US-based cohort studies [1]–[4]. It is not the purpose of this paper to comprehensively review this extensive database. Rather, the intention is to provide a) an overview of the primary theories, methods of study and evidence for emotional factors in hypertension, with an emphasis on recent findings; b) a review of the multiple behavioral and physiological mechanisms proposed by researchers to bridge the association between psychological characteristics and blood pressure regulation, and c) a discussion of the evidence and implications for the treatment of psychological factors among patients with current or elevated risk for hypertension.


Psychological Factor Cardiovascular Reactivity Behavioral Risk Factor Hypertension Risk Vital Exhaustion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Rutledge
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California - San DiegoSan DiegoUSA

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