Academic exam stress and depressive mood are associated with reductions in exhaled nitric oxide in healthy individuals

Ana F. Trueba, Noelle B. Smith, Richard J. Auchus, Thomas Ritz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nitric oxide (NO) has beneficial effects on cardiovascular and immune health. Stress and depression have been linked to a reduction in serum NO. In this study, we examined the effect of academic exam stress on the fraction of NO in exhaled air (FeNO) and spirometric lung function in 41 healthy college students. Participants completed assessments at mid-semester as well as in the early and late phase of an academic exam period. Negative affect, depressive mood, and salivary cortisol were elevated during exams, whereas FeNO and lung function decreased. Higher depressive mood was associated with lower FeNO, whereas higher negative affect was associated higher FeNO across time. These findings provide initial evidence that depression and prolonged stress can alter FeNO and lung function in healthy individuals, which could have adverse consequences for cardiovascular, airway, and immune health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-212
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Psychology
Volume93
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Academic stress
  • Depression
  • Lung function
  • Nitric oxide

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Academic exam stress and depressive mood are associated with reductions in exhaled nitric oxide in healthy individuals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this