Fear and c-reactive protein cosynergize annual pulse increases in healthy adults

Shani Shenhar-Tsarfaty, Nadav Yayon, Nir Waiskopf, Itzhak Shapira, Sharon Toker, David Zaltser, Shlomo Berliner, YA'Acov Ritov, Hermona Soreq*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent international terror outbreaks notably involve long-term mental health risks to the exposed population, but whether physical health risks are also anticipated has remained unknown. Here, we report fear of terror-induced annual increases in resting heart rate (pulse), a notable risk factor of all-cause mortality. Partial least squares analysis based on 325 measured parameters successfully predicted annual pulse increases, inverse to the expected age-related pulse decline, in approximately 4.1% of a cohort of 17,380 apparently healthy active Israeli adults. Nonbiased hierarchical regression analysis among 27 of those parameters identified pertinent fear of terror combined with the inflammatory biomarker C-reactive protein as prominent coregulators of the observed annual pulse increases. In comparison, basal pulse primarily depended on general physiological parameters and reduced cholinergic control over anxiety and inflammation, together indicating that consistent exposure to terror threats ignites fear-induced exacerbation of preexisting neuro-immune risks of all-cause mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E467-E471
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - 3 Feb 2015


  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • C-reactive protein
  • Cholinergic status
  • Pulse
  • Terror


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