Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early life stress may predict cardiovascular disease

Date:
February 10, 2010
Source:
Medical College of Georgia
Summary:
Early life stress could be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in adulthood, researchers report.

Drs. Jennifer Pollock (left) and Analia S. Loria.
Credit: Medical College of Georgia

Early life stress could be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in adulthood, researchers report.

Related Articles


"We think early life stress increases sensitivity to a hormone known to increase your blood pressure and increases your cardiovascular risk in adult life," said Dr. Jennifer Pollock, biochemist in the Vascular Biology Center at the Medical College of Georgia and corresponding author on the study published online in Hypertension.

The studies in a proven model of chronic behavioral stress -- separating rat pups from their mother three hours daily for two weeks -- showed no long-term impact on key indicators of cardiovascular disease such as increased blood pressure, heart rate or inflammation in blood vessel walls.

But when the rats reached adulthood, an infusion of the hormone angiotensin II resulted in rapid and dramatic increases in all key indicators in animals that experienced early life stress. Stress activates the renin-angiotensin system which produces angiotensin II and is a major regulator of blood vessel growth and inflammation -- both heavily implicated in heart disease. "They cannot adapt to stress as well as a normal animal does," Dr. Pollock said. Within a few days, for example, blood pressure was nearly twice as high in the early-stress animals.

The chronic stress model most typically has been used to look at the psychological impact of childhood stress; this was the first time it was used to measure cardiovascular impact, Dr. Pollock said. Findings correlate with studies published in Circulation in 2004 that identified adverse childhood events, such as abuse or parental loss, in the backgrounds of many adults with ischemic heart disease.

"We want to be able to prevent this long-term consequence," said Dr. Analia S. Loria, MCG postdoctoral fellow and the study's first author. Although the adult rats seemed fine until stressed, the scientists noted the inevitability of stress in life.

Next steps include determining the mechanism that translates early life stress into cardiovascular risk; they suspect it results in genetic alterations at a vulnerable time in development. "Hormones can modulate gene expression and, during stress, you have very high levels of stress hormone," Dr. Loria said.

To further test the findings. they are blocking the angiotensin II receptor in rats to see if that decreases the cardiovascular impact in animals with early life stress. And, to more closely mimic what happens in real life, they are feeding high-fat diets to the rats to see if, like the angiotensin II infusions, it exaggerates cardiovascular disease risk. Receptor blockers are commonly used in cardiovascular patients who have high levels of angiotensin II.

The scientists also will be studying gender differences in response to early life stress since their initial studies were in male rats. Psychological studies indicate that females are less impacted by early life stress and the scientists predict they will find similar results in the cardiovascular response.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and an American Heart Association postdoctoral fellowship.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Medical College of Georgia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Medical College of Georgia. "Early life stress may predict cardiovascular disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100209183236.htm>.
Medical College of Georgia. (2010, February 10). Early life stress may predict cardiovascular disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100209183236.htm
Medical College of Georgia. "Early life stress may predict cardiovascular disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100209183236.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins