Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Greek crisis has biological health effects

Date:
September 24, 2013
Source:
Linköping University
Summary:
Young adults in Greece suffer more from stress and mental health problems and are less optimistic about the future than Swedes of the same age. The grave financial problems in Greece have brought on a social crisis that has probably affected people's health.

Young adults in Greece suffer more from stress and mental health problems and are less optimistic about the future than Swedes of the same age. The grave financial problems in Greece have brought on a social crisis that has probably affected people's health, according to a study from Linköping University.

Related Articles


In the study, recently published in the scientific journal PLOS One, groups of students at Athens University and Linköping University replied to questions about their health and perceived stress. The results show that in every respect, the Greek students reported poorer health than the Swedish students.

On the other hand, the biologically measured levels of the stress hormone cortisol were higher amongst the Greeks -- the opposite to what was expected.

"This should not be interpreted as saying that the students in Athens were less stressed than those in Linköping. We know from other studies that people who are depressed or are 'burned out', or suffer from chronic stress syndrome actually have lower cortisol levels. People can handle shorter periods of stress quite well, but after some time the body cannot manage the high stress levels and the cortisol levels start to fall. If the stress factors remain, it can also lead a weakened immune system," says Tomas Faresjö, professor of medical sociology and chief investigator for the study.

The differences in participants' health and quality of life were very clear. For instance, 42% of the Greek students (52 of 124) had experienced serious life events, compared to 23% of the Swedish students. 47% of the Greeks reported stress compared 21% of the Swedes. 24% of the Greeks had no hope for the future, a view shared by just 5% of the Swedes.

"The study shows that the health of young Greeks is considerably worse than that of young Swedes. One can suspect that the social crisis in Greece is beginning to have biological effects on the residents of the country," says Dr Faresjö.

Biological stress levels were measured using hair. This is a completely new method that has been further developed by the research group in Linköping. It makes it possible to measure the release of cortisol backward in time. The levels leave their mark in the hair, and since hair grows about one centimetre a month it is possible to see how stressed the person has been in recent months.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Linköping University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Åshild Faresjö, Elvar Theodorsson, Marios Chatziarzenis, Vasiliki Sapouna, Hans-Peter Claesson, Jenny Koppner, Tomas Faresjö. Higher Perceived Stress but Lower Cortisol Levels Found among Young Greek Adults Living in a Stressful Social Environment in Comparison with Swedish Young Adults. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (9): e73828 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073828

Cite This Page:

Linköping University. "Greek crisis has biological health effects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130924103500.htm>.
Linköping University. (2013, September 24). Greek crisis has biological health effects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130924103500.htm
Linköping University. "Greek crisis has biological health effects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130924103500.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins