The objective of this study was to determine whether exaggerated blood pressure (BP) reactivity to stress and psychosocial characteristics are related to left ventricular mass (LVM) in a large cohort of young adults. Analyses were conducted with 3,742 participants of the CARDIA study (945 white men, 1,024 white women, 781 black men, and 992 black women), evaluated in 1990 to 1091 with echocardiographic measurement of LVM. Analyses were stratified by gender and race. The relationships of LVM/height27 and cardiovascular reactivity to physical and psychological stressors (treadmill exercise, cold presser, video game, and star-tracing tasks), were examined in both univariate and multivariate analyses adjusting for baseline BP, weight, and other relevant biobehavioral variables. The relationships between LVM and several psychosocial characteristics (hostility, anger suppression, anxiety, depressive symptoms, and education) were also assessed. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) reactivity to exercise was significantly related to LVM in black and white men; LVM was 10% greater among white men with exaggerated (upper quintile) peak exercise SBP than among other white men. SBP reactivity to the cold presser test was related to LVM in all race/gender groups, although the relationship remained significant only among white men and women in the multivariate analysis. Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) reactivity to the video game was related to LVM only among black men in adjusted analyses. After adjusting for resting BP, weight, and other covariates in linear multiple regression models, SBP reactivity to exercise explained only 3% of the variance in LVM among white men. Otherwise, reactivity to other stressors or psychosocial variables accounted for no more than 1% of the variance in LVM. It was concluded that among a cohort of young adults, blood pressure reactivity to physical and mental stressors did not add substantially to the prediction of LVM when resting BP, weight, and other covariates were taken into account.
Markovitz, J. H., Raczynski, J. M., Lewis, C. E., Flack, J., Chesney, M., Chettur, V., … Johnson, E. (1996). Lack of independent relationships between left ventricular mass and cardiovascular reactivity to physical and psychological stress in the coronary artery risk development in young adults (CARDIA) study. American Journal of Hypertension, 9(9), 915–923. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0895-7061(96)00149-5