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Health Psychol. 1994 Jul;13(4):291-8.

Chronic stress, social support, and persistent alterations in the natural killer cell response to cytokines in older adults.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus 43210-1238.


To address the long-term physiological consequences of chronic stressors, 14 continuing or current family caregivers of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, 17 former AD caregivers, and 31 control subjects were compared. Continuing and former caregivers did not differ on depressive symptomatology or perceived stress; both groups were significantly more depressed and stressed than controls. Furthermore, continuing and former caregivers did not differ in the response of NK cells in vitro to recombinant interferon-gamma and recombinant interleukin-2, and both groups had a significantly poorer response to these cytokines than controls. The physiological and psychological consequences of chronic stressors may persist well beyond the cessation of the actual stressor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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