People who did not have a large heart rate response to a stress task surprised researchers later — after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
People who did not have a large heart rate response to a stress task surprised researchers later — after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic — when they showed more symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder related to the crisis than others who also did the stress task and COVID-19 stress ratings.
Researchers had anticipated that the reverse would be true — that those with higher heart rate reactions to the stress task would experience more distress related to COVID-19.
Previous research shows individuals with PTSD have higher responses to stress. But very few studies have examined heart rate responses to acute stress before the onset of a traumatic event, researchers said.
“The study shows that diminished biological arousal — how the body responds when it is exposed to something startling or stressful — before a global pandemic may predict PTSD symptoms related to the event,” said principal investigator Annie T. Ginty, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University.
Continue reading at Baylor University.
Image via Getty Images.