Good Self- Rated Health is Related to Psychosocial Resources and a Strong Cortisol Response to Acute Stress: The LiVicordia Study of Middle- Aged Men

  • Margareta KristensonEmail author
  • Anders G. Olsson
  • Zita Kucinskiene


Self- rated health (SRH) is a strong predictor for disease and death. The relations among SRH, psychosocial factors, and cortisol dynamics were tested using pooled data from the LiVicordia study of 50- year- old men in Lithuania (n = 94) and Sweden (n = 89), controlling for effect of residence. SRH was assessed by “How would you assess your own health?” A standardized laboratory stress test included measures of cortisol in serum and saliva.

Good SRH related to high scale scores of decision latitude, social support at work, coping, self- esteem, and sense of coherence; itto low scores of overcommitment (all p < .01) and vital exhaustion (r = - 0.40, p < 0.001); to low concentrations of saliva baseline cortisol (r = - .26, p = .001); and to a strong cortisol response to stress (r = .27, p = .001).

Findings that good SRH related to favorable psychosocial characteristics and to a dynamic cortisol stress response indicate a possible explanation for observed lower risk for disease and death in this state.

Key words

self-rated health psychosocial resources stress cortisol 


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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margareta Kristenson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anders G. Olsson
    • 2
  • Zita Kucinskiene
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Health and SocietyFaculty of Health Sciences Linköping UniversitySweden
  2. 2.Department of Medicine and CareFaculty of Health Sciences Linköping UniversitySweden
  3. 3.Department of PhysiologyBiochemistry and Laboratory Medicine Faculty of Medicine Vilnius UniversityLithuania

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