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J Psychosom Res. 2003 Dec;55(6):521-4.

Serum lipids responses to a respite from occupational and domestic demands in subjects with varying levels of stress.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University of Vienna, Schwarzspanierstrasse 17, A-1090, Vienna, Austria.



To investigate the effect of a temporary respite from domestic and job demands on serum lipid concentrations in subjects with high and low levels of perceived demands.


111 females and 42 males (mean age 57.1+/-9.8) staying at a health resort for 3 weeks and receiving spa treatments participated in the study. Serum cholesterol (CHOL), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c), triglycerides (TG) and LDL/HDL were measured at the beginning and end of the stay. In addition, levels of perceived demands were assessed. Data were analysed with MANCOVA for repeated measures with known confounding variables as covariates.


Subjects with a higher level of perceived demands had higher levels of CHOL, LDL/HDL and TG and lower levels of HDL-c. In response to the respite, subjects experiencing more demands showed a greater decrease of LDL-c (P<.01) and LDL/HDL (P<.001). Sex moderated these stress-related respite effects for HDL-c (P<.01) and LDL/HDL (P<.005), high demand males showing a smaller decrease in HDL and a greater decrease in LDL/HDL than females in response to the respite.


The results indicate that a respite from chronic demands may reduce LDL-c and LDL/HDL in chronically stressed individuals.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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