Alexei V Agapitov1 and William G Haynes2

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1SUNYat Buffalo 2University of Iowa

Obesity is associated with hypertension, left ventricular hypertrophy, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Patients with obesity have an exaggerated pressor response to mental stress and diminished forearm and systemic vasodilatation to mental stress. Acute mental stress also leads to a greater pressor response in hypertensive individuals. Chronic psychosocial stress is associated with the development of hypertension. An exaggerated blood pressure elevation to external stressors is associated with higher subsequent resting diastolic blood pressure 6.5 years later. Like hypertension, obesity is associated with a greater blood pressure increase to acute and chronic psychosocial stress. The skin microcirculation plays an important role in systemic blood pressure regulation. Dilatation of skin microvessels to mental stress is blunted in obese nor-motensive subjects, which may account for the increased propensity of obese individuals to develop hypertension under conditions of chronic psychosocial stress.

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