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Auman C, Bosworth HB, Hess TM. Effect of health-related stereotypes on physiological responses of hypertensive middle-aged and older men. The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences. 2005 Jan 1; 60(1):P3-P10.
This study examined the influence of health stereotypes on stress response among middle-aged and older men. It was hypothesized that anxiety and cardiovascular reactivity would increase when health stereotypes were activated among veterans seeking care in an outpatient setting. Among a sample of 122 veteran patients with hypertension, the level of stereotype activation varied by means of reference to either their health status (health stereotypes) or, conversely, some personally valued leisure activities (no stereotype activation). Predicted stereotype-related increases in anxiety, galvanized skin conductance, and blood pressure were evident. Potential explanations for these results are explored, including those relating to the negative health stereotypes associated with being a patient.