Author(s): Linden W, Long BC
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Abstract The current study investigated hostile mood, response style (repression-sensitization [RS]), and cardiovascular (blood pressure and heart rate) as well as endocrine recovery (cortisol, norepinephrine, and epinephrine) from a 10-minute mental task in 57 healthy, adult women. Emphasis was placed on resting levels and recovery from, rather than the more frequently studied initial responses to, mental stress tasks. The task consisted of the "Electrocardiogram Quiz" (shortened version) and mental arithmetic (serial subtraction) of equal length, totaling 10 minutes. Physiological/biochemical samples were collected at the end of a 15-minute adaptation phase (i.e., the designated baseline), at the end of the mental task phase and at 5-minute and 30-minute recovery. R-S and hostility scale scores were not correlated and permitted the creation of four subsamples: 1) repressor-low expressed hostility; 2) repressor-high expressed hostility; 3) sensitizer-low expressed hostility; and 4) sensitizer-high expressed hostility. Results indicated that tonic levels of SBP and DBP were consistently higher in subjects with low expressed hostility. Cortisol level and phasic activity discriminated between high expressed hostility-sensitizers and the other three samples, with the former displaying more cortisol activity at baseline and at 30-minute recovery. Women on birth control pills had consistently elevated levels of cortisol secretion throughout.
This article was published in J Clin Hypertens
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology