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Outline and evaluate psychologCardiovascular disorders

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Cardiovascular Disorders There are 2 main theories of why stress increases the risk of cardiovascular disorders; direct mechanical effects and energy mobilisation. There is evidence for and against these theories. Rosenman studied 32000 men and split them into 2 groups; type A and type B. The men in type A were competitive, active and irritant whereas participants in type B were calmer. Rosenman split them into groups by studying the participant's behaviour during an interview, the interviewer would purposely interrupt them to see how the participant reacted. 8.5 years later, 257 of these men had developed CHD. Findings showed that 70% of these men were type A even when other factors were taken into account such as smoking and their diet. When these participants were investigated further, it was found that the main factor was hostility. This study supports that stress can cause cardiovascular disorders, and factors in a person's personality can increase the chance of a disorder. This study shows the link between cardiovascular disorders and certain personality types. ...read more.


Krantz also did a study to see if cardiovascular disorders are linked to stress. 39 participants and 12 control participants were studied while doing 3 mental tasks, each designed to cause stress. While doing tasks, their blood pressure and contraction of blood vessels was measured. Findings showed that participants with the highest blood pressure also had the highest contraction of vessels whereas some had little contraction of either. This study shows that there is a direct link between stressful cognitive tasks and psychological activity. It also shows that individual differences need to be taken into account, as participants did not all respond the same. Similar to Rosenman's study, there are also disadvantages. There are ethical issues as the participant was purposely put under stress. It does not take into account that some people already have a high blood pressure due to other factors or other stress. Also the participant's blood pressure was not taken when they were not stressed therefore it is not known what their normal blood pressure was. ...read more.


and participants with less stressful jobs (dermatologists). It was found that 11.9% of the GPs had suffered from heart disease whereas only 3.2% of dermatologists had. This supports the link between stress and heart disease. This study assumes that GPs have a more stressful job although it could be seen as less stressful as they have more social stimulation. Also it is not clear whether the link is direct or indirect as the GPs may be more likely to smoke or drink due to the stress, rather than the stressor itself doing the actual damage. This study also has an unfair sample as all participants are doctors, they do not represent a variety of people as are all in a similar profession and probably of a similar intelligence. This study has emphasised the importance of support at work, as it can be stressful and have negative effects. Ultimately, all of the studies above show a link between stress and cardiovascular disorders, although it is hard to specify whether the link is direct or indirect. It is also hard to specify what the main factor is, hostility, anger or a person's profession. ...read more.

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