Cardiovascular stress responses among Asian Indian and European American women and men

Catherine M. Stoney, Joel W. Hughes, Kristin K. Kuntz, Sheila G. West, Lisa M. Thornton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Asian Indians have approximately 3 times the rate of coronary artery disease as do age-matched European Americans, but the increased risk cannot be explained by the presence of known physiological and behavioral risk factors. One previous study suggested that Asian Indians have diminished vasoactive responses to isoproterenol, but no published study has examined responses to psychological stressors. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that the vasomotor response to stress, as indexed by hemodynamic measures, would be exaggerated in Asian Indian men and women, relative to European American individuals. Thirty-seven Asian Indian and 43 European American men and women were tested in a standard reactivity protocol, whereas heart rate, blood pressure, and cardiac impedance measures were assessed. Asian Indian men and women had significantly smaller changes in systolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure during the stressors, relative to European American men and women. Asian Indian women, but not men, had significantly smaller diastolic blood pressure and total peripheral-resistance index changes to the stressors, relative to the other 3 groups. These data are in contrast to our expectation of decreased tendency of Asian Indians to vasodilate during psychological stress but do suggest that sex and Asian Indian ethnicity interact to influence vascular reactivity to stressors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-121
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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