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Systemic overperfusion and resting blood pressure

  • MARK R. LARSON (a1) and ALAN W. LANGER (a1)


During psychosocial stressors, individuals with mildly elevated resting blood pressures (BP) exhibit cardiac output (CO) that is in excess of metabolic demand (i.e., systemic overperfusion). The present study used the “additional” CO method to assess whether individuals in the high average BP range also exhibit systemic overperfusion at rest. Healthy young adult males (N = 48), divided into “high average” and “low average” groups using resting BP, participated in an active coping task. Consistent with past research, the high average group evidenced higher levels of additional CO than did the low average group during both baseline and task periods. More importantly, the high average group also exhibited significant amounts of additional CO at rest, whereas the low average group did not. These results may help to advance our understanding of the process by which systemic overperfusion may contribute to the development of elevated BP.


Corresponding author

Address reprint requests to: Mark R. Larson, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, Box PSYCH, University of Rochester Medical Center, 300 Crittenden Boulevard, Rochester, NY 14642, USA. E-mail:



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