The field of health psychology has exploded in the last decade due to progress identifying physiological mechanisms by which psychological, social, and behavioral factors can put people's health and well-being at risk. The Handbook of Physiological Research Methods in Health Psychology provides thorough, state-of-the-art, and user-friendly coverage of basic techniques for measurement of physiological variables in health psychology research. It is designed to serve as a primary reference source for researchers and students interested in expanding their research to consider a biopsychosocial approach. Chapters addressing key physiological measures have been written by international experts with an eye towards documenting essential information that must be considered in order to accurately and reliably measure biological samples. The book is not intended to be a lab manual of specific biomedical techniques, nor is it intended to provide extensive physiological or anatomical information. Rather, it takes the approach most useful for a non-specialist who seeks guidance on how and when to collect biological measures but who will have the actual samples assayed elsewhere. The Handbook can be thought of as a primer or a gateway book for researchers new to the area of physiological measurement and for readers who would like to better understand the meaning of physiological measures they encounter in research reports.
Evolution of the Concept of the Metabolic Syndrome
Although the concept of the metabolic syndrome has been widely acknowledged for less than two decades, the clustering of its key features was recognized long before. Some 250 years ago, Morgagni described the associations between visceral obesity and some of the key features of the modern metabolic syndrome, that is, hypertension, sleep apnea, hyperuricemia, and atherosclerosis (see Enzi, Bussetto, Inelmen, Coin, & Sergi, 2003, for a historical perspective). More recently, in 1923, Kylin described the clustering of hyperglycemia, hypertension, and gout. A few decades later Vague (1947) drew attention to the android or upper body type of adiposity, commonly associated with metabolic abnormalities, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) and Type 2 diabetes. Camus (1966) introduced ...