stress-related illness: the immune system

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Stress related illness: the immune system

 

Short-term stressors: Examination stress

Kiecolt-Glaser et al 1984

  • A natural experiment

  • Investigating whether the stress of short-term stressors had an effect on the immune system, such as examinations and in this case on medical students.

  • Blood samples taken one month before the examination = low stress

  • Blood samples taken during the exam itself = high stress

  • Immune system functioning measured by NK cell activity by taking blood samples

  • Questionnaires were also given to participants to measure any other life stressors they may have.

     

Findings:

 

  • NK cell activity was significantly reduced in the second blood sample

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