Anxiety sensitivity and modifiable cardiovascular disease risk factors: the role of pain intensity among individuals with chronic pain

Brooke Y. Kauffman, Ryan Kroeger, Andrew H. Rogers, Lorra Garey, Joseph W. Ditre, Michael J. Zvolensky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Chronic pain is often comorbid with modifiable cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as obesity and tobacco use. Among individuals with chronic pain, psychological risk factors may increase pain which, in turn, may increase risk for modifiable cardiovascular disease correlates. Thus, the current study examined the explanatory role of pain intensity in the relationship between anxiety sensitivity and two well-documented modifiable cardiovascular disease risk factors. Participants included 396 adults with chronic pain who completed an online survey from a larger study examining chronic pain-mental health relations. Results revealed that higher levels of anxiety sensitivity were related to higher levels of body mass index (BMI) through greater levels of pain intensity. Bi-directional relations were observed between anxiety sensitivity and pain intensity for tobacco risk. The current study highlights a potential transdiagnostic cognitive vulnerability factor, anxiety sensitivity, which may be an important treatment target to reduce modifiable cardiovascular disease risk factors via reductions in pain intensity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Chronic pain
  • Obesity
  • Pain intensity
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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