Stress Creates 50% Mortality Risk In Some Men According To New Study
The October 23, 2011 issue of Medical News Today announced the results of a new study on stress and mortality in men. The study results which were published in the Journal Of Aging Research indicate that stress can create as much as a 50% higher mortality risk in men. The research found that both moderate and high stress levels were a factor if the stress persisted over some period of time.
The University of Oregon conducted the study which was presented in the Journal of Aging Research. It was an 18 year sample from 1985 to 2003 taken from the VA Normative Aging Study (NAS), a longitudinal panel study of white men in the Boston area which began in the 1960's. 1443 working and middle class men aged 41-87 were in the study. The approach to this research was a departure from other studies because it used a larger sample size, a longer period of time and included known major stressors that affect older people like a death in the family. The results were examined with and without health related stress events.
The study defined the participants stress level according to the number of major stressors in a year. The lower stress group experienced two, the moderate stress group three, and the highly stressed group as many as six major stressors. The mortality risk jumped when the major stressors exceeded two and surprisingly was the same for moderate and highly stressed men.
The researchers found few moderating factors. Good health, marriage and moderate drinking seemed to improve the mortality results.
"Being a teetotaler and a smoker were risk factors for mortality," said Carolyn Aldwin, lead author of the study and a professor of human development and family sciences at Oregon State University. "So perhaps trying to keep your major stress events to a minimum, being married and having a glass of wine every night is the secret to a long life."
The study seems to indicate that there is a threshold of stress events that is manageable and without adverse effect. Apparently we bump up against our limits at 2 stress events on a year. The researchers found that result to be the most fascinating and surprising.
We do have limits. The men who were able to manage those limits the best were also able to live longer.
Image Credit: The Daily Mail UK