Stress & Cardiovascular Disorders

  • Created by: alexandra
  • Created on: 31-05-13 19:39
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  • Stress & Cardiovascular Disorders
    • Williams et al - Anger (Acute stressor)
      • - 13,000 people completed a 10 question anger scale.  - None of the participants suffered from heart disease at this point.   - 6 years later 256 participants experienced a heart attack.
        • Those who scored high on the anger scale were more likely to experience heart attacks than those who scored lower.
          • People who had 'moderate' scores were 35% likely to experience a coronary event. This study suggests that anger may lead to cardiovascular disorders.
    • Russek - Work stress (Chronic stressor)
      • Looked at heart disease in medical professions.
        • One group of doctors was designated as 'high-stress' whereas the other group were 'low-stress'.
          • Heart disease was greater among the GPs (high-stress) and lowest among the dermatologists (low-stress). This supports the view that chronic stress can lead to heart disease.
    • Individual differences
      • Research suggests that the sympathetic branch in the ANS is more reactive in some individuals.
        • This means that some people respond to stress with greater increase in BP and heart rate and this would lead to more damage being done to the cardiovascular system.
    • Stress may directly cause illness, however it may also indirectly cause illness.
      • Stressed individuals are more likely to engage in activities that are unhealthy such as smoking or drug-taking. And so other factors may cause illness rather than the stressor itself.


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