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Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology:
doi: 10.1097/FJC.0b013e318161ea63
Original Article

The Effects of Aspirin and Nonselective Beta Blockade on the Acute Prothrombotic Response to Psychosocial Stress in Apparently Healthy Subjects

Känel, Roland von MD*†; Kudielka, Brigitte M PhD‡; Helfricht, Susanne PhD*; Metzenthin, Petra PhD§; Preckel, Daniel PhD*; Haeberli, André PhD¶; Cung, Trinh BS¶; Fischer, Joachim E MD, MSc∥

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We hypothesized that the 2 cardiovascular drugs aspirin and propranolol attenuate the prothrombotic response to acute psychosocial stress relative to placebo medication. We randomized 56 healthy subjects, double-blind, to 5-day treatment with an oral dose of either 100 mg of aspirin plus 80 mg of propranolol combined, single aspirin, single propranolol, or placebo medication. Thereafter, subjects underwent a 13-minute psychosocial stressor. Plasma levels of von Willebrand factor antigen (VWF:Ag), fibrinogen, coagulation factor VII (FVII:C) and XII (FXII:C) activity, and D-dimer were determined in blood samples collected immediately pre- and post-stress and 45 minutes post-stress. The stress-induced changes in prothrombotic measures were adjusted for gender, age, body mass index, mean arterial blood pressure, smoking status, and sleep quality. There was an increase in VWF:Ag levels from immediately pre-stress to 45 minutes post-stress in the placebo group relative to the 3 subject groups with verum medication (P's ≤ 0.019; relative increase in VWF:Ag between 17% and 21%); however, the VWF:Ag response to stress was not significantly different between the three groups with verum medication. The stress responses in fibrinogen, FVII:C, FXII:C, and D-dimer were similar in all 4 medication groups. The combination of aspirin with propranolol, single aspirin, and single propranolol all attenuated the acute response in plasma VWF:Ag levels to psychosocial stress. This suggests that these cardiovascular drugs might exert limited protection from the development of stress-triggered coronary thrombosis.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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