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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Psychophysiological models have a long history within stress research of trying to explain the link between stress exposure and psychological and physiological disease. The current chapter tries to offer complementary perspectives on this issue. First, it covers the relevant physiological systems (sympathetic, parasympathetic, enteric nervous system) and their markers (heart rate, heart rate variability, blood pressure), such that the reader receives an overview of the significant factors at play. Second, it provides an overview of the various forms of stress (acute, chronic, and stress during early life periods) that are believed to put the individual at heightened risk to develop stress-related disease. Finally, it presents the theories and models that have emerged over the years that try to explain how the various forms of stress can eventually lead to psychological and physical disease. The chapter ends with a short outlook on some recent work emphasizing the interaction between the various systems at play, and how that by itself can play a role in the origin of stress-related disease.

Keywords: heart rate, heart rate variability, blood pressure, autonomic, sympathetic, parasympathetic, enteric, early life

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