Study Shows How Stress Makes People Sick
JULY, 2003 – THE CHRONICLE HERALD
Study shows how stress makes people sick
WASHINGTON – It’s no surprise that constant stress can make people sick, and now a team of researches has figured out how.
A study focused on 119 men and women who were taking care of spouses with dementia. The health of the caregivers was compared with that of 106 people of similar ages who were not living under the stress of constant care giving.
Blood tests showed that a chemical called Interleukin-6 sharply increased in the blood of the stressed caregivers compared with blood of the others in the test. Previous studies have associated IL-6 with several diseases, including heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, type-2 diabetes and certain cancers.
The study also found the increase in IL-6 can linger in care givers for a s long as three years after a caregiver had ceased that role because of the spouse’s death. Of the test group, 78 spouses died during the survey.
“This really makes a link to why chronic stress can actually kill people,” said Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry at Ohio State University.
The Associated Press