Title

The influence of gender, hypertension risk, and aerobic fitness on cardiovascular responses to laboratory-induced stress

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-1-1997

Publisher

International Stress Management Association

Abstract

The study sought to evaluate the influence of gender, hypertension risk, and aerobic fitness on cardiovascular responses to laboratory-induced stress. Sixty nonsymptomatic subjects (30 males, 30 females) participated in the experiment. Half of the subjects had at least one biological parent with hypertension, while half had no parental history of hypertension and served as comparison subjects. Subjects completed a laboratory procedure measuring cardiovascular responses (i.e., pulse rate and blood pressure) while performing stressful laboratory tasks (i.e., the Stroop Color Naming Test and a sham IQ test). Aerobic fitness (i.e., VO2max using the Bruce protocol) was also determined using a submaximal treadmill test in the laboratory. Results suggest that males with a family history of hypertension were more stress responsive based on systolic blood pressure, while females were more stress-responsive according to pulse rate activity. Fitness levels were significantly associated with diastolic blood pressure throughout the stress and recovery periods but were unrelated to pulse rate and systolic blood pressure.