Cardiovascular Reactivity as a Predictor of Relapse in Male and Female Smokers

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This study examined the role of psychophysiological reactivity to general stressors measured before smoking cessation as a predictor of relapse in individuals who quit for a minimum of 12 hr and were then followed for a 12-month interval. The study group consisted of 132 (56.9%) female and 100 (43.1%) male participants in a formal smoking cessation program. The reactivity measures were taken while the Ss were still smoking. Heart rate and blood pressure measurements were taken while Ss were resting, performing mental arithmetic, and delivering a speech and after Ss had been standing for 2 min. In the sample as a whole and for women, a higher level of systolic blood pressure reactivity to the cognitive challenge was associated with a shorter time to relapse (p < .05). In men, greater systolic blood pressure decline to standing was significantly associated with a shorter time to relapse (p < .05).

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