The relationship between carotid blood pressure reactivity to mental stress and carotid intima-media thickness

Nicole L. Spartano, Jacqueline A. Augustine, Wesley K. Lefferts, Brooks B. Gump, Kevin S. Heffernan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Background: Brachial blood pressure (BP) reactivity to stress predicts large artery damage and future cardiovascular (CV) events. Central BP is an emerging risk factor associated with target organ damage (TOD). Currently, little is known about the central BP response to mental stress and its association to TOD. Methods and results: Twenty-five healthy, non-obese adults completed a computerized mental stress test. Brachial and carotid systolic (S)BP reactivity to stress were calculated as SBP during stress minus resting SBP. Resting carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) was also measured. Carotid SBP reactivity to stress was significantly associated with carotid IMT, independent of age, sex, body mass index, non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol and brachial SBP reactivity to stress (r = 0.386, p < 0.05). Conclusion: The relationship between carotid SBP reactivity and carotid IMT suggests that the central BP response to stress may prove to be an early risk marker for potential subclinical TOD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-229
Number of pages3
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 22 2014



  • Carotid intima-media thickness
  • Central blood pressure reactivity
  • Mental stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this