Cardiovascular and Hemodynamic Reactivity to Stress: Validity and Reliability of New Wearable Device for Assessing Stress Reactivity


Collaborator: Kira S. Birditt (PI), Toni C. Antonucci, Richard D. Gonzalez, Kayvan Najarian

Funding: UCSF Stress Network by National Institute on Aging

Grant: (R24AG048024)

Description: Chronic stress and stress reactivity are hypothesized to be a major cause of cardiovascular disease (CHD); the leading cause of death in the U.S. Cardiovascular reactivity (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure reactions to stress) predicts increased risk of cardiac events and mortality, especially among people with hypertension. However, the majority of population studies do not incorporate mechanistic studies of stress reactivity to understand links between long-term stress exposure and stress reactivity. The purpose of the proposed pilot project was to examine the effectiveness of a device for assessing cardiovascular reactivity to stress. Necessitated by several device changes beyond our control, we altered the design of study to first collect data from 20 participants using one ambulatory device (BodyGuardian heart monitor) and a blood pressure cuff which assessed blood pressure in the morning and at bedtime. The BodyGuardian heart monitor is a small device worn on the chest that assesses ECG, heart rate, activity level, and respiration. The present study seeks to examine individuals in the laboratory and in daily life and examine whether the cardiovascular outcomes assessed with the BodyGuardian heart monitor vary as a function of laboratory stressors and daily stresses. The study includes two components: 1) a laboratory study to assess reactivity to standard laboratory stressors (cold pressor test and an adapted Trier Social Stress test) using an ambulatory monitor (BodyGuardian) and laboratory monitors of the cardiovascular system, and 2) a daily stress study which incorporates a 4-day, 6-times a day experience sampling study and ambulatory cardiovascular monitor (BodyGuardian).