Abstract

Qualitatively distinct patterns of cardiovascular and neuroendocrine responses were observed in male college students during mental work and during sensory intake task performance. During mental work, Type A (coronary-prone) subjects showed greater muscle vasodilatation and more enhanced secretion of norepinephrine, epinephrine, and cortisol than Type B subjects. During sensory intake, Type A hyperresponsivity was found for testosterone and, among those subjects with a positive family history of hypertension, for cortisol. As a demonstration of combined cardiovascular, sympathetic nervous system, and neuroendocrine hyperresponsivity to specific cognitive tasks in Type A subjects, this study breaks ground in the search for mechanisms mediating the increased coronary disease risk among Type A persons.

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