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Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 1 month ago

Key Study


Harburg et al. (1973)


Stress and blood pressure



The research was conducted on a population of blacks and whites in Detroit. The procedure was that investigators first identified high- and low-stress areas of the city. High-stress areas were those with low income, high density, high mobility, high rates of marital break-up, and high crime. Suppressed rage was defined as guilt and inwardly directed anger, and judged by asking how the participants’ would respond to problem scenarios typically faced by inner city residents (such as a large unexpected increase in rent).



The findings established that several important factors were related to hypertension. As expected, higher rates of were found in high-stress areas of the city. Secondly, black men had the highest rates of hypertension, especially those that lived in high-stress areas. But the highest rates were among blacks who lived in high stress areas and who dealt with their anger by suppressing it.



The researchers concluded that these three factors could combine to increase the likelihood of CHD.



The results of the study are confirmed in a number of other investigations that show that several risk factors may have a cumulative effect on the body. However, although the study was carefully controlled the findings are essentially correlational. There are a large number of variables that are not taken account of and each of these could account for the observed correlations.


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