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Ann Behav Med. 2011 Feb;41(1):21-31. doi: 10.1007/s12160-010-9233-1.

Domains of chronic stress, lifestyle factors, and allostatic load in middle-aged Mexican-American women.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, CA 92123, USA. lcgallo@sciences.sdsu.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Little research has examined how chronic stress in different domains relates to allostatic load (AL).

PURPOSE:

We examined the relationship between multiple chronic stressors with AL, and evaluated lifestyle factors as possible mediating factors.

METHODS:

Three hundred one middle-aged Mexican-American women underwent a physical exam and completed measures of lifestyle factors and chronic stress in eight domains. A composite of 12 neuroendocrine, metabolic, cardiovascular, and inflammatory markers represented AL.

RESULTS:

Chronic work, financial, and caregiving domains related to higher AL scores after adjusting for covariates and other stressors. Lifestyle factors made little contribution to the association between stressors and AL.

CONCLUSIONS:

Chronic work, financial, and caregiving stressors are associated with physiological dysregulation in Mexican-American women. This study is among the first to examine multiple domains of chronic stress in relation to AL, in a population that has been understudied in research concerning stress and health.

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