Indexed on: 15 Mar '16Published on: 15 Mar '16Published in: The Spanish journal of psychology
The study examined whether cardiovascular responses to active or passive coping tasks and single or multiple tasks predicted changes in resting blood pressure (BP) over a ten-month period. Heart rate (HR), BP, cardiac output (CO), and total peripheral resistance (TPR) were measured at rest, and during mental stress tests (mental arithmetic, speech, and cold pressor tasks). A total of 104 eligible participants participated in the initial study, and 77 (74.04%) normotensive adult participants' resting BP were re-evaluated at ten-month follow-up. Regression analyses indicated that after adjustment for baseline BP, initial age, gender, body mass index, family history of cardiovascular disease, and current cigarette smoking, heighted systolic blood pressure (SBP) and HR responses to an active coping task (mental arithmetic) were associated with increased future SBP (ΔR 2 = .060, ΔR 2 = .045, respectively). Further, aggregated SBP responsivity (over the three tasks) to the predictor models resulted in significant, but smaller increases in ΔR 2 accounting for .040 of the variance of follow-up SBP. These findings suggest that cardiovascular responses to active coping tasks predict future SBP. Further, compared with single tasks, the findings revealed that SBP responses to three tasks were less predictive compared to an individual task (i.e., mental arithmetic). Of importance, hemodynamic reactivity (namely CO and TPR) did not predict future BP suggesting that more general psychophysiological processes (e.g., inflammation, platelet aggregation) may be implicated, or that BP, but not hemodynamic reactivity may be a marker of hypertension.