Endocrine and cardiovascular responses during phobic anxiety

R. M. Nesse, G. C. Curtis, B. A. Thyer, D. S. McCann, M. J. Huber-Smith, R. F. Knopf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

109 Scopus citations


In vivo exposure therapy for phobias is uniquely suited for controlled studies of endocrine and physiologic responses during psychologic stress. In this study, exposure therapy induced significant increases in subjective anxiety, pulse, blood pressure, plasma norepinephrine, epinephrine, insulin, cortisol, and growth hormone, but did not change plasma glucagon or pancreatic polypeptide. Although the subjective and behavioral manifestations of anxiety were consistent and intense, the magnitude, consistency, timing, and concordance of endocrine and cardiovascular responses showed considerable variation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-332
Number of pages13
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Nesse, R. M., Curtis, G. C., Thyer, B. A., McCann, D. S., Huber-Smith, M. J., & Knopf, R. F. (1985). Endocrine and cardiovascular responses during phobic anxiety. Psychosomatic Medicine, 47(4), 320-332. https://doi.org/10.1097/00006842-198507000-00002