Behavioral Medicine Approaches to Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

By Kristina Orth-Gomér; Neil Schneiderman | Go to book overview

participate. Also, if adherence is geared toward the physical capacities of those involved, and the demand is not too rigorous, the possibility of success is improved. Thus, regimens that avoid lengthy stress-reduction procedures, starvation diets, and excessive exercise demands may require longer to achieve their goals, but may be more likely to obtain adherence.

In summary, the studies reviewed in this chapter suggest that emotional stressors (including unstable environments), poor dietary practices (including alcohol abuse and excessive ingestion of fats and sugar), and a sedentary lifestyle can combine and interact to promote the pathogenesis of CHD. We have emphasized the roles that insulin metabolism and activation of the SNS play in mediating the relationships between behavioral variables on the one hand and CHD morbidity and mortality on the other hand. Throughout our discussion, we emphasized how emotional stressors, poor diet, and a sedentary lifestyle set the stage for a cluster of health problems, including obesity, hypertension, NIDDM, and dyslipidemia. Although genetic factors play a major role in each of these conditions, the expression of these conditions is heavily influenced by behavioral factors. Just as the pathogenesis of these disorders is related to behavioral variables, a multimodal behavioral approach to primary and secondary prevention could make a major contribution to reductions in CHD morbidity and mortality.


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