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Open Access Psychosocial Stress, the Unpredictability Schema, and Cardiovascular Disease in Women

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC licence.

Depression/anxiety-related disorders and psychosocial stress have been implicated as cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Women are at considerable risk for affective disorders and report greater severity from psychosocial stress, compared to men. Affective disorders and cardiovascular disease likely share underlying pathophysiological mechanisms that are potentiated among women ‐ especially younger women. Environmental stressors that threaten the safety, security, and status of an individual are appraised by the brain, producing a cascade of evoked physiological and cognitive responses. In the short term, these processes overcome stressors, but come with long-term health implications. Chronic psychosocial stress leads to a dysregulation of the stress response systems that can lead to a heightened stress appraisal schema called the unpredictability schema, a construct that might arguably place women at heightened risk for CVD.
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Keywords: Women; anxiety; cardiovascular disease; depression; life history theory; psychological stress; psychosocial stress; unpredictability schema

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2019

This article was made available online on January 16, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Psychosocial Stress, the Unpredictability Schema, and Cardiovascular Disease in Women".

More about this publication?
  • Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications (CVIA) publishes focused articles and original clinical research that explore novel developments in cardiovascular disease, effective control and rehabilitation in cardiovascular disease, and promote cardiovascular innovations and applications for the betterment of public health globally. The journal publishes basic research that has clinical applicability in order to promote timely communication of the latest insights relating to coronary artery disease, heart failure, hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia, prevention of cardiovascular disease with a heavy emphasis on risk factor modification. Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications is the official journal of the Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology (GW-ICC). It aims to continue the work of the GW-ICC by providing a global scientific communication platform for cardiologists that bridges East and West.

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