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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Dietary Guidelines Adherence and Healthy Body Weight Maintenance Title: Excess heart rate and systolic blood pressure during psychological stress in relation to metabolic demand in adolescents

Authors
item Lambiase, Maya -
item Dorn, Joan -
item Chernega, Nicholas -
item Mccarthy, Thomas -
item Roemmich, James

Submitted to: Biological Psychology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 15, 2012
Publication Date: June 19, 2012
Citation: Lambiase, M.J., Dorn, J., Chernega, N.J., Mccarthy, T.F., Roemmich, J.N. 2012. Excess heart rate and systolic blood pressure during psychological stress in relation to metabolic demand in adolescents. Biological Psychology. 91:42-47.

Interpretive Summary: Psychological stress may promote cardiovascular disease, but the mechanism is unclear. One hypothesis is that the increases in heart rate and systolic blood pressure during psychological stress damage the arteries. However, heart rate and systolic blood pressure also increase during exercise. Cardiovascular responses during exercise are matched to the increased metabolic demand as measured by oxygen consumption, but this may not be the case during psychological stress. No studies to date have tested this hypothesis in youth. Fifty-four youth, ages 13-16 years completed two visits. Heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), and oxygen (O2) consumption were measured during a graded exercise test on one day and during psychological stress reactivity (star tracing, speech) on another day. During a number of different psychological stress tasks the heart rate and systolic blood pressure were greater than expected based on oxygen consumption. This was the first study to demonstrate that cardiovascular responses were in excess of what would be expected based on metabolic demand in youth.

Technical Abstract: Cardiovascular responses during exercise are matched to the increased metabolic demand, but this may not be the case during psychological stress. No studies to date have tested this hypothesis in youth. Fifty-four youth, ages 13-16 years completed two visits. Heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), and oxygen (O2) consumption were measured during a graded exercise test on one day and during psychological stress reactivity (star tracing, speech) on another day. Predicted HR and SBP values during psychological stress were calculated based on HR-O2 and SBP-O2 relationships calculated during graded exercise. At a given O2 consumption, actual HR was greater (p<0.02) than predicted for all stress tasks. Actual SBP was greater (p<0.001) than predicted for all stress tasks. This was the first study to demonstrate that cardiovascular responses were in excess of what would be expected based on metabolic demand in youth.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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