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Behavioural clusters characteristic of cardiovascular reactivity profiles relate to poorer health outcomes

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-23, 11:16 authored by Tracey KeoghTracey Keogh, Siobhán HowardSiobhán Howard, Stephen GallagherStephen Gallagher

Objectives: Blunted cardiovascular reactivity is associated  with a distinct behavioural profile of greater exposure to  early life adversity, coupled with higher levels of behavioural  disengagement and symptoms of depression. The present study sought to extend on this work by investigating if  behavioural clusters with distinct patterns of reactivity were  related to health and behavioural outcomes at baseline and at  a 4-year follow-up. Methods: Hierarchical cluster analyses were conducted  using longitudinal data drawn from the Midlife Development  in the United States (MIDUS 2) Biomarker Project and the  MIDUS 3 follow-up 4 years later. During MIDUS, 2 participants (N = 513) underwent a standardized stress testing  protocol and had their blood pressure and heart rate monitored throughout. In addition, hierarchical cluster analyses  were conducted on responses from measures of early life  adversity, behavioural disengagement and depression. Binary  logistic regressions were conducted to determine whether  cluster membership was related to health and behavioural  outcomes which were taken at both time points. Results: Three behavioural clusters emerged with statistically different blood pressure reactivity patterns. The cluster  characterized by greater exposure to early life adversity, higher  levels of behavioural disengagement and depressive symptoms, had relatively lower blood pressure reactivity patterns  compared with both the exaggerated reactivity cluster and the  cluster similar to the sample mean. In fully adjusted models,  this cluster was associated with hypertension (p = .050) and  depressed affect (p = .033), while Cluster 1 characteristic of  an exaggerated blood pressure reactivity profile was associated with depressed affect (p<.001). Cluster membership did  not significantly predict future health status  Conclusion: This study extends research on behavioural  clusters characteristic of reactivity profiles to demonstrate  how they relate to health and behavioural outcomes during  MIDUS 2.  





British Journal of Health Psychology


John Wiley & Sons Ltd

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