07.18.2014 - Blunted cardiovascular and cortisol reactivity to acute psychological stress

Author: De Rooij, SR (2013) International Journal of Psychophysiology.

In a sample of 725 cohort members, an extensive psychological stress protocol was performed during which cardiovascular and cortisol responses were measured. In line with many previous studies, results showed that increased blood pressure responsiveness to the stress protocol was associated with an increased risk for hypertension 5 years later. However, decreased cardiovascular and/or cortisol stress reactivity were associated with obesity and the risk of becoming obese, symptoms of depression and anxiety, a poor self-reported health, poor lung function, and poor cognitive function. Results from these studies agree with recent evidence that low biological reactivity to acute psychological stress may not always be beneficial for health but instead seems to be a marker for a range of negative health outcomes.

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