Psychosocial factors impair vascular responses of coronary arteries.
BACKGROUND Four sets of monkeys were used to examine the effect of chronic psychosocial disruption and diet on dilator responses of coronary arteries.
METHODS AND RESULTS One set consisted of monkeys consuming monkey chow and living in a stable social setting (nonatherosclerotic controls, n = 6). Three sets consumed an atherogenic diet for 14 months followed by one of three treatments for the next 16 months: 1) a high-cholesterol diet and housed in unstable social groups (n = 9); 2) a low-cholesterol diet and housed in unstable (n = 8); or 3) stable groups (n = 10). Quantitative coronary angiography revealed that intracoronary infusion of acetylcholine resulted in a change of diameter (versus infusion of 5% dextrose in water) of +4 +/- 1% in control monkeys and -11 +/- 4% in unstable monkeys consuming a high-cholesterol diet (p less than 0.05). In monkeys consuming the cholesterol-lowering diet, the change in artery diameter was +2 +/- 4% in stable and -10 +/- 4% in unstable social conditions (p less than 0.05) despite a similar plaque size (0.4 +/- 0.2 and 0.5 +/- 0.1 mm2) and total plasma cholesterol concentrations (179 +/- 9 and 172 +/- 6 mg/dl), respectively. The arterial response to nitroglycerin was similar among all groups of monkeys.
CONCLUSIONS We conclude that chronic social disruption is associated with relative arterial constriction in response to acetylcholine in atherosclerotic monkeys consuming a cholesterol-lowering diet.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association