Psychological factors significantly affect the cardiovascular system and play an important role in the etiopathogenesis of cardiovascular disorders. In fact, psychological stress in childhood, adulthood or persistent across a person’s life can contribute to high cardiovascular and metabolic risk. Also, low stress resilience during youth increase in the risk of developing hypertension in later life.
For the past several decades attention to the psychosocial and behavioral factors in cardiovascular disease has increased significantly. However, the association of proinflammation with stress and cardiovascular disease processes has only recently emerged in the scientific focus.
Multiple lines of evidence suggest that psychosocial factors contribute significantly to coronary heart disease as evidenced by data relating risk to depression, anxiety, personality factors and character traits, social isolation, and chronic life stress.
Furthermore, individuals with PTSD have dysfunctional hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and sympathetic nervous system (SNS), the two branches of the peripheral stress system. These individuals also have a higher risk of cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension and stroke, with an increased basal heart rate and blood pressure.
When psychological stresses also tend to cluster together, risk for cardiac events is often substantially elevated, equaling or exceeding that associated with standard biomedical risk factors for coronary disease such as hypertension and hypercholesterolemia.
Understanding the integration of the interactions among multiple psychological and biological factors in the regulation of the cardiovascular system and the development of cardiovascular disorders is an important challenge for future research.
This book will contribute to this goal. The contributors to this book are the leading international experts in the field of the relation between psychological processes and cardiovascular disorders.
This book will be of interest to physicians, psychologists, mental health counselors, other clinicians, medical and psychology students, medical residents, and the general public.
Hardcover: 468 pages; Publisher: Nova Kroshka Books; 1 edition (January 1, 2009).