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Smoking, caffeine, and stress: effects on blood pressure and heart rate in male and female college students

, : Smoking, caffeine, and stress: effects on blood pressure and heart rate in male and female college students. Health Psychology 7(5): 461-478

This study examined the independent and joint effects of cigarette smoking and caffeine consumption on blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) reactions to stress in male and female college students. Following an initial physiological baseline, participants received one of four experimental treatments (paced smoking, caffeine, smoking plus caffeine, or neither) and had BP and HR measured before, during, and after two stressful tasks. The results revealed that, compared with the control condition, caffeine ingestion enhanced the magnitude of stress-induced systolic BP and HR reactions. Smoking combined additively with stress, and the joint effect of smoking and caffeine was no greater than either taken alone. Males and females were generally similar in their BP and HR responses to smoking, caffeine, and stress. Inconsistencies with previous research and possible physiological mechanisms underlying the observed effects are discussed.


PMID: 3215157

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