Cardiovascular responses in the laboratory and in the natural environment: Is blood pressure reactivity to laboratory-induced mental stress related to ambulatory blood pressure during everyday life?


Journal Article

Cardiovascular activity recorded at rest and during mental stress in the laboratory was studied in relation to ambulatory recded cardiovascular activity at work at home. Fifty-fice Type A men (M=42.4 years) underwent a stardardized laboratory mental stress protocol i which systolic blood pressurem diatolic blood pressure, and heart rate were recorded at baseline and during a 15 min mental arithmetic task (MAT). On a susequent day, ambulatory blood pressure and heart rate were recorded at 20 miute intervals for 12-14 hr during nrmal activities at home and at work. Subjects completed a behavioral diary concurrently with each cuff inflation/ High and Low groups were identified based upon a median split of their cardiovascular response levels at baseline and sduring the MAT. subjects with high systolic blood pressure levels during the MAT had high systolic blood pressure at home, at work, during physical activity, and when thery reported being 'stressed'. Baseline systolic blood pressure in the laboratory was less consistently related to ambulatory systolic pressure across ambultory conditions. Diastolic blood pressure at baseline was related to ambulatory diastoic blood pressure at work, at home, and when resting. Diastolic blood pressure during the MAT was associated with higher diastolic pressure at work and at home, Heart rate at baseline and during the MAT was related to heart rate at work and during physical activity. Change scores derived by subtracting mean during the MAT from baseline resting levels were not associated with ambulatory bllod pressures or heart rates under my daily conditions. It the best case, systolic blood pressure measured during the MAT was related to systolic blood pressure during physical activity, to systolic blood pressure and heart rate during mental stress, to systolic and diastolic blood pressure at rest, and to systolic blood pressure and heart rate at work but not at home. We conclude that levels of blood pressure and heart rate measured in the laboratory, but not reactivity (i.e., change scores) during the MAT, are related to blood pressue and heart rate levels recorded in the natural environment, especially in the work setting. © 1989.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Fredrikson, M; Blumenthal, JA; Evans, DD; Sherwood, A; Light, KC

Published Date

  • January 1, 1989

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 33 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 753 - 762

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3999

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0022-3999(89)90091-3

Citation Source

  • Scopus