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According is approached on an individual level

According to World Health Organization (2017), cardiovascular
disease (CVD) is the number one cause of deaths worldwide. Although one cannot
isolate a single cause of CVD, stress is a major contributor and a major
feature of modern living (Marks et al., 2005). Stress and stress-motivated behaviours
can cause psychological distress and physiological reactions that include
heightened blood pressure and heart rate (Sarafino, 2005, p.7). 64

Cardiovascular measures are the most widely used psychophysiological
measures (Johnston, French, Bonetti & Johnston p.365) some include cardiac
stress tests and electrocardiograms. Collectively these tests record heart rate
variability and blood pressure as a reaction to stress and
psychological stimuli (Infantolino & Miller, 2017). 44

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In
this context, health psychology is concerned with interactions between
biological, social and psychological factors concerning cardiovascular health.
From a biological perspective, tests have revealed when plaque is present in coronary
arteries and veins, it is a risk factor, knowing this, health psychologists can
device plans and provide tools needed for lifestyle changes, which influence
living with or preventing CVD. Cardiovascular psychophysiological measures reveal that high levels of stress from work and life events are
associated with high incidences of heart disease and heart attack (Sarafino,
2005, p.9). Stress is approached on an individual level through stress
management techniques, cognitive behaviour therapy, relaxation therapy and
biofeedback to prevent the conditioning worsening, adhere to medication and
engage in healthy behaviours (Sarafino, 2005,
p.14). This can be approached in workplace or
healthcare settings where effects of stress are brought to awareness. From a
psychological perspective, health psychologists tackle emotion and motivation, which
play a vital role in the course of illness especially chronic illness. CVD can
be disabling and can require changes that need adjustment. Health psychologists
can provide therapy to adjust to psychological challenges and find ways to lead
a fulfilling life. 191

The ways in which
psychophysiological measures provide us with evidence is endless and the
applications make way for many possibilities.

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