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The Relationship Between Cardiac Reactivity in the Laboratory and in Real Life

Publiceringsår: 2008
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 34-42
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Health Psychology
Volym: 27
Nummer: 1
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: American Psychological Association (APA)


Objective: An excessive cardiovascular response to acute stress is a probable risk factor for cardiovascular (CV) disease. Such reactivity is usually assessed from the CV response to laboratory stressors.

However, if it is a risk factor, correlated responses must occur in real life. Design: In the present study, we investigated the relationship between the heart rate (HR) response to five laboratory stressors and HR reactivity in the field. Measures: HR variation, the response to a real life stressor (public speaking), and

the increase in HR with periods of self-reported tense arousal. Ambulatory HR, activity and posture were measured continuously over a 7-hr period. Results: The HR increase to laboratory stressors did not relate to HR variation consistently, but it did relate to the other two field measures. Conclusion: The results suggested that a tendency to increased HR reactivity may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease when combined with exposure to stress.


  • Psychology
  • real life stressors
  • laboratory stressors
  • heart rate
  • cardiac reactivity
  • public speaking



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