Navigation Links
Men and women respond differently to stress

Montreal, March 23, 2010 Age and gender play a major role in how people respond to stress, according to a new study on 20-to-64-year-olds. Published in the journal Psychophysiology, the investigation was led by scientists from the Universit de Montral and the Montreal Heart Institute in collaboration with colleagues from the Universit du Qubec Montral and McGill University.

"Our findings suggest that women who are more defensive are at increased cardiovascular risk, whereas low defensiveness appears to damage the health of older men," says Bianca D'Antono, a professor at the Universit de Montral Department of Psychiatry and a Montreal Heart Institute researcher.

Defensiveness is a trait characterized by avoidance, denial or repression of information perceived as threatening. In women, a strong defensive reaction to judgment from others or a threat to self-esteem will result in high blood pressure and heart rate. Contrarily, older men with low defensive reactions have a higher cardiovascular rates.

The study was conducted on 81 healthy working men and 118 women. According to Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif a Universit de Montral professor and Montreal Heart Institute researcher, the physiological response to stress in women and older men is linked to this desire of maintaining self-esteem and securing social bonds.

"The sense of belonging is a basic human need," says D'Antono. "Our findings suggest that socialization is innate and that belonging to a group contributed to the survival of our ancestors. Today, it is possible that most people view social exclusion as a threat to their existence. A strong defensive reaction is useful to maintain one's self-esteem faced with this potential threat."

As part of the experiment, participants completed four tasks of varying stress levels. The first task involved reading a neutral text on Antarctica's geography before a person of the same sex. The second and third tasks involved role-playing in which participants followed a script where they were sometimes agreeable and sometimes aggressive. The final task involved a non-scripted debate on abortion.

Heart rate and blood pressure were measured during each of these tasks as was the level of cortisol in saliva. Results showed that women and older men had elevated cardiovascular, autonomic and endocrine responses to stress all potentially damaging to their health. The research team cautions, however, that more studies are needed to evaluate the long-term effects of defensiveness and its association to stress response patterns in disease development.


Contact: Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins
University of Montreal

Related biology news :

1. Drug could improve pregnancy outcomes in wider range of women with insulin resistance
2. Women more depressed and men more impulsive with reduced serotonin functioning
3. Pregnant women at risk for unnecessary operations due to misdiagnosis of appendicitis
4. Cell response to stress signals predicts tumors in women with common pre-breast cancer
5. Too few women scientists achieving academic leadership positions
6. Gender roles and not gender bias hold back women scientists
7. Women with AIDS face cervical cancer threat
8. New folic acid seal helps women choose enriched grain foods to help prevent birth defects
9. Do attractive women want it all?
10. Womens health-related scientific findings presented by University of Pittsburgh researchers
11. Journal of Womens Health named official journal of American Medical Womens Association
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/12/2015)... Nov. 11, 2015   Growing need for ... tools has been paving the way for use ... of discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food ... predominantly used in medical applications, however, their adoption ... due to continuous emphasis on improving product quality ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... 10, 2015  In this report, the ... of product, type, application, disease indication, and ... report are consumables, services, software. The type ... biomarkers, efficacy biomarkers, and validation biomarkers. The ... diagnostics development, drug discovery and development, personalized ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... Nov. 09, 2015 ... of the "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics ... --> ) has announced ... Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" report to ... Markets ( ) has announced the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... and HOLLISTON, Mass. , Nov. 25, ... HART ), a biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ ... Jim McGorry will present at the LD Micro ... at 2:30 p.m. PT. The presentation will be webcast ... days. Management will also be available at the conference ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS; TSX: AEZ) ... remain fundamentally strong and highlights the following developments: ... DSMB recommendation to continue the ZoptEC Phase 3 ... final interim efficacy and safety data , ... with heavily pretreated castration- and Taxane-resistant prostate cancer ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015 Orexigen® Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... in a fireside chat discussion at the Piper Jaffray ... . The discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, December ... .  A replay will be available for 14 ... , Julie NormartVP, Corporate Communications and Business Development ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Jessica Richman ... AngelList early in their initial angel funding process. Now, they are paying it ... to make early stage investments in the microbiome space. In this, they ...
Breaking Biology Technology: