Effect of Cold Stress and the Cold Pressor Test on Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
Background: Temperature and other environmental stressors are known to affect blood pressure and heart rate. The cold pressor test is used clinically to evaluate autonomic and left ventricular functions.
Aims: This project was done to test the hypothesis that blood pressure and heart rate is altered during the cold pressor test.
Methods: Students performed the cold pressor test, to study the change in blood pressure following an environmental stress. 40 medical students from the Ist year MBBS batches were selected and tested for cold pressor test during 1 to 2 min immersion of one hand in ice water. This test used cold as a stressful stimulus. The response of the subject was measured by the change in blood pressure and heart rate after the application of cold stimulus.
Results: The study showed that the correlation between Anxiety state scores and cold pressor test response was not significant statistically. The correlation between Anxiety trait scores and cold pressor test response was also not significant statistically.
Conclusion: The results indicate that the blood pressure and heart rate increases following an environmental stress. This activity can be easily adapted and students can learn about the test and carry out the test on their classmates.
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