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'Polycythaemia of stress' in subjects with Type A and Type B behaviour patterns.

Journal article
Authors Sverker Jern
Christina Jern
Hans Wadenvik
Published in Journal of psychosomatic research
Volume 35
Issue 1
Pages 91-8
ISSN 0022-3999
Publication year 1991
Published at Wallenberg Laboratory
Institute of Clinical Neurosciences
Institute of Internal Medicine, Dept of Medicine
Pages 91-8
Language en
Links www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...
Keywords Adult, Arousal, physiology, Blood Cell Count, Blood Pressure, physiology, Heart Rate, physiology, Hematocrit, Hemoglobinometry, Humans, Male, Personality Tests, Polycythemia, blood, psychology, Problem Solving, physiology, Stress, Psychological, blood, complications, Type A Personality
Subject categories Clinical Medicine

Abstract

To determine the importance of emotional stress for relative polycythaemia, we studied 11 subjects with the Type A and 11 subjects with the Type B behaviour patterns during short-term mental stress. All subjects were healthy, normotensive non-smoking young males aged 20-34 yr. without any medication. During rest there were no significant differences in heart rate, blood pressure, or plasma catecholamines between the two groups, but the A-group had significantly higher haemoglobin concentration (147 vs 140 g/l; p less than 0.005) and haematocrit (43.8 vs 42.1%: p = 0.05) than the B-group. In the whole group, there was a positive correlation between resting diastolic blood pressure and haemoglobin concentration (r = 0.53; p less than 0.05). In response to 10 min of mental arithmetic, haematocrit, haemoglobin and erythrocyte count rose approximately 2% (p less than 0.001 throughout). The stress-induced changes were not significantly different between the A- and B-groups. It is concluded that mild relative polycythaemia could be induced by acute emotional stress. In subjects with the Type A behaviour pattern a slight haemoconcentration is present already at rest, which further increases during stress.

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