<b><i>Significance:</i></b> Atherosclerosis and its complications, such as acute coronary syndromes, are the leading causes of death worldwide. A wide range of inflammatory processes substantially contribute to the initiation and progression of cardiovascular disease (CVD). In addition, epidemiological studies strongly associate both chronic stress and acute psychosocial stress with the occurrence of CVDs. <b><i>Recent Advances:</i></b> Extensive research during recent decades has not only identified major pathways in cardiovascular inflammation but also revealed a link between psychosocial factors and the immune system in the context of atherosclerosis. Both chronic and acute psychosocial stress drive systemic inflammation <i>via</i> neuroimmune interactions and promote atherosclerosis progression. <b><i>Critical Issues:</i></b> The associations human epidemiological studies found between psychosocial stress and cardiovascular inflammation have been substantiated by additional experimental studies in mice and humans. However, we do not yet fully understand the mechanisms through which psychosocial stress drives cardiovascular inflammation; consequently, specific treatment, although urgently needed, is lacking. <b><i>Future Directions:</i></b> Psychosocial factors are increasingly acknowledged as risk factors for CVD and are currently treated <i>via</i> behavioral interventions. Additional mechanistic insights might provide novel pharmacological treatment options to reduce stress-related morbidity and mortality.
Antioxid Redox Signal (Antioxidants & redox signaling)
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