Lifestyle and genetics, as well as a variety of internal and external factors beyond our control, are linked to the development of metabolic syndrome, a group of diseases that increase the risk of serious health problems.
A new study finds that stress is also linked to metabolic syndrome because it tends to increase inflammation in the body, and researchers believe that an inexpensive and very simple stress management approach can improve biological health outcomes. proposed that this may be one strategy that can help improve
“We were specifically looking at people in middle age, which is a critical time in determining who ages at an accelerated pace. That’s an important factor,” said lead author Jasmeet Hayes, associate professor of psychology. Ohio State University.
Also read: What is stress and how does it affect our bodies?
“There are many variables that affect metabolic syndrome, some that cannot be modified and others that can be modified. Everyone experiences stress,” Hayes said. “And stress management is one of the modifiable elements that people can implement in their daily lives that is cost-effective and does not require the involvement of medical professionals.”
The study was recently published in the journal Brain, Behavior & Immunity – Health.
Although the link between stress and biological health is well established, few previous studies have specifically examined the involvement of inflammation in the relationship between stress and metabolic syndrome.
People with metabolic syndrome have been diagnosed with at least three of five factors that increase their risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems. That means excess belly fat, high blood pressure, low HDL (good) cholesterol, and high levels of fasting blood sugar. Triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood. This condition is also called insulin resistance syndrome.
Lead author Savannah Jurgens uses sample data from 648 participants (average age 52 years) from a national survey titled “Midlife in America” to explore how inflammation plays into the relationship between stress and metabolic syndrome. We built a statistical model to measure the fit. The analysis used information from respondents’ reported perceived stress, blood biomarkers of inflammation, and physical examination results indicating risk factors for metabolic syndrome.
“There aren’t many studies that have looked at all three variables at once,” says Jurgens, a psychology graduate student in Hayes’ lab. “There’s a lot of research suggesting that stress is associated with inflammation, inflammation is associated with metabolic syndrome, and stress is associated with metabolic syndrome. But combining all these factors is rare.”
The Inflammation Composite Score uses biomarkers including the well-known IL-6 and C-reactive protein, E-selectin and ICAM-1, which help recruit white blood cells during inflammation, and fibrinogen, a protein essential for blood clots. was calculated. Formation.
Statistical modeling showed that stress and metabolic syndrome are indeed related, and that more than half of the relationship, 61.5% to be exact, is explained by inflammation.
“The effect of perceived stress on metabolic syndrome is small, but inflammation explains much of it,” Jurgens said.
This result makes sense. Stress is just one of many factors that can wreak havoc on your health metrics. Other factors include low socio-economic status, older age, and being female, as well as various behaviors such as inactivity, unhealthy eating habits, smoking, and lack of sleep.
But considering that an estimated 1 in 3 American adults has metabolic syndrome, Hayes said it’s important to know how to lower your risk or even prevent it altogether. The findings also add to the evidence that stress and its relationship with inflammation can have a profound impact on overall biological health.
“People think of stress as mental health, that it’s all psychological, but that’s not the case. Having chronic stress actually has physical effects,” Hayes says. “It could be inflammation, it could be metabolic syndrome, it could be a variety of other causes. This is another reminder of that.” (Ani)
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