Hemodynamics during rest and behavioral stress in normotensive men at high risk for hypertension

William R. Lovallo, Mustafa Al'Absi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Persons at risk for hypertension may show elevated blood pressure (BP) at rest and during mental stress; however, the hemodynamics underlying the BP of those persons at high risk are not well characterized. We chose 21 high risk and 21 low risk men using their parental hypertension history and resting systolic blood pressures on two screenings. Then, on a day of extended rest versus a day with prolonged mental arithmetic and reaction time tasks, we examined whether high risk BP elevations reflected greater vascular resistance or cardiac output. High risk men had raised systolic/diastolic pressures (Fs = 74/15, ps < .0001/.0001) and higher vascular resistance (F = 6.6, p < .02) with minimal differences in heart rate and cardiac output. This finding implicates vascular resistance as the altered element in BP control in these high risk men tested in a familiar environment with minimal task- related threat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiac output
  • Hypertension
  • Impedance cardiography
  • Mental stress
  • Vascular resistance


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