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Abstract

IS CARDIOVASCULAR RESPONSE TO MENTAL AND PHYSICAL STRESS GENDER SPECIFIC? NOT ALWAYS!

Prema Sembulingam, Saraswathi Ilango, Sridevi G

ABSTRACT

Gender is a biological marker to assess the healthy and diseased status of an individual under stressed and non-stressed conditions and the stress-induced changes are well exposed in cardiovascular parameters both in males and females. The present study explores the speculation of gender difference in cardiovascular changes under mental and physical stress. The selected cardiovascular parameters were systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR). Participants in the study were 30 normal young male and female subjects (15 each) in the age group of 18-20 years. Mental stress was given by five minutes‟ written arithmetic task of deducting 13 from 4 digit number and physical stress was given by five minutes‟ cycling in cycle ergometer. SBP, DBP and HR were recorded before and after stress by using automatic digital BP apparatus (OMRAN) and MAP was calculated from these values. The data were analysed in SPSS version 17.0 using Students‟ „t‟ test. Significance level was fixed at p < 0.05. After mental stress, there was no significant change in the variables in both the genders and between the genders. Physical stress brought a highly significant increase in all the variables in both the genders (p < 0.000) but not between the genders. Reason for the mental stress result may be the less intensity of the stress without harassment. Physical stress-effect may be due to increased neuro-endocrinal and metabolic activities that occurred equally in both the genders.

Keywords: Mental stress, Physical stress, Gender difference, Biological marker, Cardiovascular parameters, Neuro-endocrinal, Metabolic activity.


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