Mechanisms linking psychosocial factors to disease
Evidence of mechanisms linking social and psychological risk factors to disease is important in causal inference and, in the absence of such theories, the ability to effectively predict the effect of interventions is limited.
To thoroughly address whether social and psychological risk factors and resources in various domains of life and over a life-course (i.e. socio-economic position, major life events, work-related stress, shift work, marital stress, lack of and/or adverse social relations, depression, perceived general stress) may be related to a broad range of physiological indicators of stress reactivity (e.g. cortisol, heart rate variability), early indicators of physiological dysfunctioning (e.g. lipids, low-grade inflammation, blood pressure, fibrinogen, sex steroid hormones), and diurnal rhythmicity (e.g. melatonin, cortisol) and thereby possibly explain a link to later development of disease.
Previous research has mainly focused on the link between psychosocial factors and disease without going into details with explanatory theories for the mechanisms by which the diseases arise. However, evidence of mechanisms linking psychosocial factors to disease is important in causal inference and, in the absence of such theories, the ability to effectively predict the effects of interventions are limited. Large and well-conducted epidemiologic studies have addressed the relation between psychosocial factors and a range of chronic diseases, while studies on the mechanisms explaining such links have mainly been confined to laboratory settings or have focused on single biomarkers such as blood pressure or lipids. Thus, sometimes the need is not for more substantive studies addressing the exposure-disease association directly, but rather for empirical methodological research which may help explain and understand the relation.
The project is based on data from various sources including:
The Copenhagen Aging and Midlife Biobank (CAMB) study, which provides a unique opportunity to conduct detailed studies on psychosocial measures and mechanisms in real life settings.
The Social Inequality in Cancer (SIC) database, which is based on pooled data from seven Danish cohort studies: The Copenhagen City Heart Study, the Diet, Cancer and Health Study, and five cohort studies from The Glostrup Population Studies.
The Danish PRISME cohort study which is designed as a prospective study of job related psychosocial determinants for major depression and other common mental disorders.
The Danish cohort study on prevention of workplace bullying, which was designed to study the association between workplace bullying and health (WBC).
MODENA, Bullying, mental health, work ability and sickness absence. Data collected as a third wave of on top of the PRISME and WBC projects. MODENA was designed to study health effects of bullying.
In the Middle-of-the-night project is designed for studying disturbances in diurnal rhythmicity in relation to number of nights at work.
Naja Hulvej Rod, Rikke Lund, Ingelise Andersen, Finn Diderichsen, Ulla Christensen, Ulla Arthur Hvidtfeldt, Helene Nordahl, Jolene Masters Pedersen, Gunhild Tidemann Christensen, Kirsten Nabe-Nielsen, Theis Lange, Merete Osler, Niels Keiding, Marie Aarrebo Jensen, Åse Marie Hansen.
The National Research Centre of the Working Environment (http://www.arbejdsmiljoforskning.dk/en): Anne Helene Garde and Jesper Kristiansen
Department of Occupational Medicine, Bispebjerg University Hospital: Jens Peter Bonde, Nanna Eller, Sigurd Mikkelsen
Department of Occupational Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital: Henrik Kolstad
Department of Psychology: Annie Høgh
The SIC collaborators include the Department of Public Health at the University of Copenhagen, the Danish Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.dk/), the Research Centre for Prevention and Health at Glostrup hospital (http://www.regionh.dk/fcfs/Menu/) and the Copenhagen City Heart Study at Bispebjerg University Hospital (http://www.bispebjerghospital.dk).
Part of the project is a collaborative project within the newly established Copenhagen Stress Research Centre, which is established in order to coordinate and provide high quality psychosocial research.
Nabe-Nielsen K, Quist HG, Garde AH, Aust B, Shift work and changes in health behaviors, J Occup Environ Med, in press
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Hansen, ÅM, Thomsen, JF, Kaergaard, A, Kolstad, H, Kaerlev, L, Mors, O, Rugulies, R, Bonde, JP, Andersen, JH, Mikkelsen, S. Salivary cortisol and sleep problems among civil servants. PNEC 2012; 37:1086-1095.
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