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Science. 2005 Apr 29;308(5722):648-52.

The influence of social hierarchy on primate health.

Author information

1
Departments of Biological Sciences, Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University, MC 5020, Stanford, CA 94305-5020, USA. sapolsky@stanford.edu

Abstract

Dominance hierarchies occur in numerous social species, and rank within them can greatly influence the quality of life of an animal. In this review, I consider how rank can also influence physiology and health. I first consider whether it is high- or low-ranking animals that are most stressed in a dominance hierarchy; this turns out to vary as a function of the social organization in different species and populations. I then review how the stressful characteristics of social rank have adverse adrenocortical, cardiovascular, reproductive, immunological, and neurobiological consequences. Finally, I consider how these findings apply to the human realm of health, disease, and socioeconomic status.

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PMID:
15860617
DOI:
10.1126/science.1106477
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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