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Attenuated cortisol response to a standardized stress test in lithuanian versus swedish men: The livicordia study

Abstract

Cardiovascular mortality rates of middle-aged men are 4 times higher in Lithuania than in Sweden. The difference is not explained by standard ri sk factors, but our previous findings of pronounced psychosocial stress in Lithuanian men offer a possible explanation. We investigated Cortisol and cardiovascular reactivity to a standardized laboratory stress test in population-based random samples of 50-year-old men from Vilnius, Lithuania and Linköping, Sweden. Repeated measures analysis of variance showed that Cortisol responses differed between cities (ps > .0001). Mean change of serum Cortisol from baseline to 30 min was 18.1 and 88.4 nmol/1 for Vilnius and Linkoping men, respectively (p > .001). In a multivariate analysis, a low peak Cortisol response was significantly related to high baseline Cortisol, current smoking, and vital exhaustion.

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Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Margareta Kristenson, Kristina Orth-Gomér, Zita Kucinskienë, Björn Bergdahl, Henrikas Calkauskas, Irena Balinkyniene or Anders G. Olsson.

Additional information

This study was supported by Grant 6962 from the Swedish Medical Research Council, and from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Swedish Institute. Linköping University. Procordia Research Fund, and Åke Wibergs’ Fund.

We thank nurses Susanne Wärjerstam-Elf and Regina Milasiené, assistant Snaige Jermaliené and biomedical analysts Six-Bntt Babtist, Britt Sigfridsson, and Ylva Svensson for their skillful technical assistance; Carin Kullberg for help with statistical analyses; and psychologist Alexander Perski and professor John Carstensen for their advice on statistical interpretation.

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Kristenson, M., Orth-Gomér, K., Kucinskienë, Z. et al. Attenuated cortisol response to a standardized stress test in lithuanian versus swedish men: The livicordia study. Int. J. Behav. Med. 5, 17–30 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327558ijbm0501_2

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Key words

  • chronic stress
  • Cortisol
  • population study
  • stress test