Disordered eating behaviour is associated with blunted cortisol and cardiovascular reactions to acute psychological stress
ABSTRACT Research suggests a potential dysregulation of the stress response in individuals with bulimia nervosa. This study measured both cardiovascular and cortisol reactions to a standardised laboratory stress task in individuals identified as showing disordered eating behaviour to determine whether dysregulation of the stress response is characteristic of the two branches of the stress response system. Female students (N=455) were screened using two validated eating disorder questionnaires. Twelve women with disordered eating, including self-induced vomiting, and 12 healthy controls were selected for laboratory stress testing. Salivary cortisol and cardiovascular activity, via Doppler imaging and semi-automatic blood pressure monitoring, were measured at resting baseline and during and after exposure to a 10-min mental arithmetic stress task. Compared to controls the disordered eating group showed blunted cortisol, cardiac output, heart rate, and stroke volume reactions to the acute stress, as well as an attenuated vasodilatory reaction. These effects could not be accounted for in terms of group differences in stress task performance, subjective task impact/engagement, age, BMI, neuroticism, cardio-respiratory fitness, or co-morbid exercise dependence. Our findings suggest that disordered eating is characterised by a dysregulation of the autonomic stress-response system. As such, they add further weight to the general contention that blunted stress reactivity is characteristic of a number of maladaptive behaviours and states.
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ABSTRACT: A number of studies have now examined the association between smoking and the magnitude of physiological reactions to acute psychological stress. However, no large-scale study has demonstrated this association incorporating neuroendocrine in addition to cardiovascular reactions to stress. The present study compared neuroendocrine and cardiovascular reactions to acute stress exposure in current smokers, ex-smokers, and those who had never smoked in a large community sample. Salivary cortisol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, heart rate and frequency components of systolic blood pressure and heart rate variability were measured at rest and during exposure to a battery of three standardized stress tasks in 480 male and female participants from the Dutch Famine Birth Cohort Study. Current smokers had significantly lower cortisol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and heart rate reactions to stress. They also exhibited smaller changes in the low frequency band of blood pressure variability compared to ex- and never smokers. There were no group differences in stress related changes in overall heart rate variability as measured by the root mean square of successive interbeat interval differences or in the high frequency band of heart rate variability. In all cases, effects remained significant following statistical adjustment for a host of variables likely to be associated with reactivity and/or smoking. In secondary analyses, there were no significant associations between lifetime cigarette consumption or current consumption and stress reactivity. In conclusion, compared to non-smokers and ex-smokers, current smokers exhibited attenuated neuroendocrine and cardiovascular reactions to acute psychological stress. Among smokers and ex-smokers, there is no evidence that lifetime exposure was associated with physiological reactions to acute stress, nor that current levels of cigarette consumption were associated with reactivity. It is possible, then, that attenuated stress reactivity may be a marker for an increased susceptibility to take up and/or maintain smoking behaviour once initiated.Psychoneuroendocrinology 06/2014; 48C:87-97. DOI:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2014.05.023 · 5.59 Impact Factor
Dataset: Salomon et al IJP 2013
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ABSTRACT: Prior work has repeatedly demonstrated that people who have current major depression exhibit blunted cardiovascular reactivity to acute stressors (e.g., Salomon, et al. 2009). A key question regards the psychobiological basis for these deficits, including whether such deficits are depressed mood-state dependent or whether these effects are trait-like and are observed outside of depression episodes in vulnerable individuals. To examine this issue, we assessed cardiovascular reactivity to a speech stressor task and a forehead cold pressor in 50 individuals with current major depressive disorder (MDD), 25 with remitted major depression (RMD), and 45 healthy controls. Heart rate (HR), blood pressure and impedance cardiography were assessed and analyses controlled for BMI and sex. Significant group effects were found for SBP, HR, and PEP for the speech preparation period and HR, CO, and PEP during the speech. For each of these parameters, only the MDD group exhibited attenuated reactivity as well as impaired SBP recovery. Reactivity and recovery in the RMD group more closely resembled the healthy controls. Speeches given by the MDD group were rated as less persuasive than the RMD or healthy controls' speeches. No significant differences were found for the cold pressor. Blunted cardiovascular reactivity and impaired recovery in current major depression may be a mood-state dependent phenomenon and may be more reflective of motivational deficits than deficits in the physiological integrity of the cardiovascular system.International journal of psychophysiology: official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology 06/2013; 90(1). DOI:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2013.05.018 · 2.65 Impact Factor