Blood Pressure Reactivity or Responses
A blood pressure response is a change in blood pressure that occurs following exposure to a stimulus. In behavioral medicine, the term is reserved for responses to psychological stress. Blood pressure responses can be quantified as the arithmetic difference between blood pressure measured during a true resting state and that measured during exposure to a stressor. Blood pressure reactivity refers to an individual’s characteristic pattern of blood pressure responses across time.
Basis of the Blood Pressure Response to Stress
As cognitive stress is disruptive to a person’s mental resting state, it is associated with visceral neurological changes in brain function caused by the contemplation, initiation, and maintenance of those activities required by the mental stress response. As a consequence, psychological stress can be...
References and Readings
- Balanos, G. M., Phillips, A. C., Frenneaux, M. P., McIntyre, D., Lykidis, C., Griffin, H. S., et al. (2010). Metabolically exaggerated cardiac reactions to acute psychological stress: The effects of resting blood pressure status and possible underlying mechanisms. Biological Psychology, 85, 104–111.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cannon, W. B. (1929). Bodily changes in pain, hunger, fear, and rage. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
- De Jonge, F. H., Bokkers, E. A. M., Schouten, W. G. P., & Helmond, F. A. (1996). Rearing piglets in a poor environment: Developmental aspects of social stress in pigs. Physiology and Behaviour, 60, 389–396.Google Scholar
- Jennings, J. R., Kamarck, T. W., Everson-Rose, S. A., Kaplan, G. A., Manuck, S. B., & Salonen, J. T. (2004). Exaggerated blood pressure responses during mental stress are prospectively related to enhanced carotid atherosclerosis in middle-aged Finnish men. Circulation, 110, 2198–2203.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sherwood, A., & Turner, J. R. (1992). A conceptual and methodological overview of cardiovascular reactivity research. In J. R. Turner, A. Sherwood, & K. C. Light (Eds.), Individual differences in cardiovascular response to stress (pp. 3–32). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar