Behavioral Aspects of Cardiovascular Disease

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Smoking, diet, stress, coping, and exercise, among other behaviors and psychological states, are now clearly implicated in the development of cardiovascular diseases. Prevention, based largely on altering behaviors that contribute to this chronic disease, is now as important a goal as is treatment of those already afflicted. This volume, based on a recent meeting of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, addresses several important areas of research in the general area of cardiovascular disease. The topics covered reflect on important aspects of this phenomenon, such as the long-term development of coronary artery disease; central nervous system (CNS) regulation of blood pressure, heart rate, and sympathetic tone playing a pivotal role in sympathetic activity and hypertension; learned blood pressure modulation and baroreceptor activation as a means of reducing the aversiveness of stress or noxious stimulation; and the notion that symptoms of heart disease or infarction may occur in the absence of organic heart disease. Having been impressed by the recent advances in the field, the editors of this book capture the wealth of newly acquired knowledge about behavioral factors in cardiovascular disease and how the body's nervous, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems work together.