One of many recent scientific studies documenting the negative effects of stress on physical health and longevity.
Mausbach, B. T., Chattillion, E., Roepke, S. K., Ziegler, M. G., Milic, M., von Känel, R., Dimsdale, J. E., Mills, P. J., Patterson, T. L., Allison, M. A.; Ancoli-Israel, S., & Grant, I. (2012). A longitudinal analysis of the relations among stress, depressive symptoms, leisure satisfaction, and endothelial function in caregivers. Health Psychology, 31(4), 433-440.
Caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease face numerous stressors and challenges. One hundred sixteen caregivers were assessed three times at yearly intervals regarding stress, depressive symptoms, leisure satisfaction and endothelial function (measured by brachial artery flow-mediated dilation, or FMD).
Time and the number of years of caregiving were significant predictors of FMD, suggesting that FMD was worse the longer a participant was a caregiver (including prior to the start of the study). Additionally, increased FMD function was positively related to leisure satisfaction but negatively related to stress whereas depressive symptoms were not associated with FMD.
FMD is one indication of cardiovascular health yet also shows associations to stress and psychosocial functioning. Supporting caregivers in their role and facilitating their ability to care for their own health is beneficial for both caregiver and care recipient. Interventions that help caregivers increase pleasurable activities and positive relationships (some of the behavioral correlates of depression) may not only reduce stress but might also improve cardiovascular outcomes in caregivers.Please share your experience/response to this Post. I'd sure like to know, and it could be useful to someone else. You can click the Post's title to view the entire post, and Comment below, if you like. The "Name Field" will accept any name, so you can be Anonymous [Anon] if you prefer. You must enter your Email to post a comment, but your Email address will not appear publicly. Thanks, Dr Bob