Good Self- Rated Health is Related to Psychosocial Resources and a Strong Cortisol Response to Acute Stress: The LiVicordia Study of Middle- Aged Men
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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 wordsself-rated health psychosocial resources stress cortisol
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