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Perceived chronic stress, health and cognition
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2006 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this licentiate thesis was to examine consequences of chronic stress for stressrelated diseases and to investigate the chronic stress – cognition relationship. In the first study data covering ten years was used from the Betula Prospective Cohort Study (Nilsson et al., 1997). Based on the ratings on a stress scale, matched samples between 40 and 65 years of age were divided into a high and low stress group. The reported incidence of cardiovascular, diabetes, psychiatric, tumor, and musculoskeletal diseases wasassessed five and ten years after a baseline assessment. The incidence of diseases five years after baseline assessment showed no differences between the groups. After ten years, there was a higher incidence of psychiatric diseases in the high stress group as well as a significant effect for tumors. These results indicated that moderately elevated stress levels may have an impact on psychiatric diseases, especially depression, and possibly also some tumor diseases, but it was concluded that prolonged moderate stress does not appear to be very harmful to health in general. In the second study cognitive performance was studied in chronic stress outpatients and matched controls. A battery of cognitive tests assessing processing speed, attention, episodic-, semantic- and working memory was used. Performance decrements for thechronic stress patients were found in episodic memory, particularly in learning across repeated trials, and in tasks requiring divided attention under either encoding or retrieval of words. Performance differences were also seen in aspects of working memory, mental tempo, semantic access (letter fluency) and prospective memory. It was concluded that executive functioning may be suboptimal in chronic stress patients and that letter fluency and prospective memory tests can be useful as clinical tools when evaluating chronic stressstates. Taken together, the findings indicate that there is no clear association between moderately elevated chronic stress and increased incidence of stress related diseases, whereas certain cognitive functions such as executive functioning appear vulnerable to chronic stress.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Institutionen för psykologi, Umeå universitet , 2006. , 15 p.
Series
Umeå Psychology Supplement Reports, ISSN 1653-7688 ; 11
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-22630OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-22630DiVA: diva2:217488
Distributor:
Institutionen för psykologi, 90187, Umeå
Presentation
HS 1031, Norra beteendevetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-05-14 Created: 2009-05-14 Last updated: 2011-04-01Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Longitudinal analysis of the relation between moderate long-term stress and health
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Longitudinal analysis of the relation between moderate long-term stress and health
2007 (English)In: Stress and Health, ISSN 1532-3005, E-ISSN 1532-2998, Vol. 23, no 2, 131-138 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The main goal of the present work was to longitudinally examine consequences of long-term moderately elevated levels of stress for various health outcomes. To address this issue, data covering 10 years was used from the ongoing Swedish population-based prospective Betula Study. Based on the ratings on a validated self-reported stress scale, matched subsamples between 40 and 65 years of age were divided into a high (n = 137) and low (n = 211) stress group. The reported incidence of cardiovascular, diabetes, psychiatric, tumour and musculoskeletal diseases was assessed 5 and 10 years after baseline (baseline = 1993–1995) without contaminating effects of past health history. The incidence of diseases 5 years after baseline assessment showed no differences between the groups. After 10 years, there was a significantly higher incidence of psychiatric diseases, mainly depression in the high-stress group as well as a significant effect for tumours, although the number of cases was low. Although moderately elevated stress level may have a possible impact on psychiatric diseases especially depression and some tumours, it seems that prolonged moderate stress does not appear to be harmful to other stress-related diseases.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Chichester: Wiley, 2007
Keyword
cardiovascular, depression, diabetes, musculoskeletal, tumours
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-7463 (URN)doi:10.1002/smi.1130 (DOI)
Available from: 2008-01-23 Created: 2008-01-23 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
2. Cognitive function in outpatients with perceived chronic stress
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cognitive function in outpatients with perceived chronic stress
Show others...
2007 (English)In: Scand J Work Environ Health, ISSN 0355-3140, Vol. 33, no 3, 223-232 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Keyword
burnout, executive functioning, memory, work stress
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-16193 (URN)
Available from: 2008-01-23 Created: 2008-01-23 Last updated: 2010-01-04Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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