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Association between stressful life events and resting heart rate

 Ju-Mi Lee  ;  Hyeon Chang Kim  ;  Jee In Kang  ;  Il Suh 
 BMC Psychology, Vol.2 : 29, 2014 
Journal Title
 BMC Psychology 
Issue Date
Heart rate ; Life change events ; Psychological stress
BACKGROUND: Despite a diverse literature, the association between stress and various cardiovascular conditions remains controversial. Moreover, a direct association between stressful life events (SLEs) and heart rate (HR) have not been fully investigated. This study evaluated the association between SLEs and resting HR in middle-aged Koreans. METHODS: A cross-sectional analysis was conducted for 1,703 men and 2,730 women aged 27-87 years from the community-based Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study-Kanghwa study. All participants completed a baseline health examination. The life experience survey questionnaire was administered to measure SLEs experienced during the past 3 months. Resting blood pressure and HR were measured twice over a 5 minute interval. If the difference in blood pressure was more than 10 mmHg, then a third blood pressure and HR measurement was taken after 5 minutes of rest. The average of the last two measurements was used for analysis. The association between SLEs and HR was assessed by correlation and multiple linear regression analysis. RESULTS: Compared with people with no SLEs (mean HR of 67.30 beats/min), HR was significantly lower in those who experienced one (mean HR of 65.64 beats/min, p = 0.002), two (mean HR of 63.73 beats/min, p < 0.001), and 3+ SLEs (mean HR of 64.17 beats/min, p < 0.001). This association was observed even after adjustment for sex, age, body mass index, hypertension treatment, oral contraceptive use, postmenopausal hormone therapy, thyroid disease, liver disease, cigarette smoking use, alcohol drinking use, and blood urea nitrogen to creatinine ratio. Compared with people with no SLEs, those with 1, 2, and 3+ SLEs had a lower resting HR by 1.485 (p = 0.005), 3.718 (p < 0.001), and 3.176 (p < 0.001), respectively. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that the experience of a recent SLEs are associated with a lower resting HR in Korean adults. Although further investigation is required, people who have experienced recent SLEs and have a lower HR than usual may need attention for their stress level.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Preventive Medicine and Public Health (예방의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Psychiatry (정신과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kang, Jee In(강지인) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2818-7183
Kim, Hyeon Chang(김현창) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7867-1240
Suh, Il(서일) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9689-7849
Lee, Ju Mi(이주미)
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