• Symptoms of anxiety and depression are related to cardiovascular responses to active, but not passive, coping tasks

      Yuenyongchaiwat, Kornanong; Baker, Ian S.; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (Brazilian Psychiatric Association, 2016-11-07)
      Objective: Anxiety and depression have been linked to blunted blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) reactions to mental stress tests; however, most studies have not included indices of underlying hemodynamics nor multiple stress tasks. This study sought to examine the relationships of anxiety and depression with hemodynamic responses to acute active and passive coping tasks. Methods: A total of 104 participants completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scales and mental arithmetic, speech, and cold pressor tasks while BP, HR, total peripheral resistance, and cardiac output (CO) were assessed. Results: After adjustment for traditional risk factors and baseline cardiovascular activity, depression scores were negatively associated with systolic BP, HR, and CO responses to the mental arithmetic task, while anxiety scores were inversely related to the systolic BP response to mental arithmetic. Conclusion: High anxiety or depression scores appear to be associated with blunted cardiac reactions to mental arithmetic (an active coping task), but not to the cold pressor test or speech tasks. Future research should further examine potential mechanisms and longitudinal pathways relating depression and anxiety to cardiovascular reactivity.