215740 Psychosocial Influences on Endothelial Health

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Molly Crispell, BS , Department of Medical Science & Community Health, Arcadia University, Glenside, PA
Andrea Crivelli-Kovach, PhD, CHES , Department of Medical Science & Community Health, Arcadia University, Glenside, PA
Christen Rexing, MPH , Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Sheila West, PhD , Department of Biobehavioral Health, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Background: In addition to traditional risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity (Vogel & Benitez, 2000), cardiovascular disease (CVD) is also influenced by emerging physiological factors such as endothelial function (Landmesser, Hornig, & Drexler, 2004) and psychological characteristics such as aggression, depression, stress, anxiety, and rumination (Bunker, Colquhoun, Esler, et al., 2003).

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to assess the influence of aggression, depression, stress, anxiety, and rumination on endothelial function. Methods: The study group consisted of 61 healthy adults with one or more CVD risk factors (hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, hyperlipidemia, pre-diabetes, and obesity). Endothelial function was assessed using EndoPAT 2000, a non-invasive office-based device. Psychological characteristics were assessed using seven research-established questionnaires.

Results: Thirty-six percent of the subjects were identified as having endothelial dysfunction. Measures of hostility, aggression, depression, anxiety, stress, and rumination were significantly inter-correlated. Hostility (r = 0.25, p = 0.045) and cynicism (r = 0.34, p = 0.008) were positively correlated with total cholesterol/high density lipoprotein ratios. Aggressive responding ( = -0.76, p = 0.009), negative affect ( = -0.71, p = 0.040), and grouped measures of hostility (F = 3.13, p = 0.043) and depression (F = 6.60, p = 0.008) were most predictive of endothelial dysfunction.

Conclusion: This study revealed significant associations between measures of hostility, depression, and anxiety and endothelial dysfunction. Individuals with mild to moderate risk biological risk for CVD may benefit from management of harmful psychosocial characteristics. Further research is needed to elucidate connections between psychological and cardiovascular well-being.

Learning Areas:
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Epidemiology

Learning Objectives:
Assess the influence of aggression, depression, stress, anxiety, and rumination on endothelial function.

Keywords: Heart Disease, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have had nearly 20 years of experience working in both quantiatative and qualitative areas of research participating in the design of research studeis and data analysis. For this study, I contributed to the final data analysis suggesting ways to look at the data differently in terms of public health variables.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.