Peripheral Vasoconstriction During Mental Stress and Adverse Cardiovascular Outcomes in Patients With Coronary Artery Disease

Jeong Hwan Kim, Zakaria Almuwaqqat, Muhammad Hammadah, Chang Liu, Yi An Ko, Bruno Lima, Samaah Sullivan, Ayman Alkhoder, Rami Abdulbaki, Laura Ward, J. Douglas Bremner, David S. Sheps, Paolo Raggi, Yan V. Sun, Amit J. Shah, Viola Vaccarino, Arshed A. Quyyumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


RATIONALE: Excessive vasoconstriction in response to mental stress may be a potential mechanism by which acute psychological stress leads to adverse cardiac events. OBJECTIVES: We investigated whether excessive digital vasoconstriction during acute mental stress predicts adverse cardiovascular outcomes among patients with coronary artery disease. METHODS AND RESULTS: Five hundred forty-nine patients with stable coronary artery disease (age 63±9, 76% male, 29% black) underwent mental stress testing with a standardized public speaking stressor and followed prospectively for cardiovascular end points. Digital pulse wave amplitude was continuously measured using peripheral artery tonometry (PAT, Itamar Inc). Stress/rest PAT ratio (sPAT) of pulse wave amplitude during mental stress/baseline was calculated and dichotomized by the median value into low and high sPAT ratio groups. Upon 3-year follow-up, Fine and Gray's subdistribution hazard ratios were used to examine the association between sPAT ratio and the composite end point of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, revascularization, and hospitalization for heart failure. The median sPAT ratio was 0.68 (interquartile range, 0.48-0.88), indicating 32% vasoconstriction with mental stress. Men were more likely to have low sPAT ratio than women (odds ratio, 1.79; P=0.007) while those on β-blockers were less likely to have low sPAT ratio (odds ratio, 0.52; P=0.003). After adjusting for demographic and cardiovascular risk factors, medications, and rate-pressure product change during mental stress, those with low sPAT ratio were at significantly higher risk of adverse outcomes (subdistribution hazard ratio, 1.77 [95% CI, 1.12-2.80]). CONCLUSIONS: Greater peripheral vasoconstriction with mental stress, denoted by a low sPAT ratio, is associated with a higher risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes in patients with coronary artery disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-883
Number of pages10
JournalCirculation research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 25 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • coronary artery disease
  • myocardial infarction
  • stress
  • vasoconstriction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology


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