Chronic stress, allostatic load, and aging in nonhuman primates.

University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
Development and Psychopathology (Impact Factor: 4.4). 11/2011; 23(4):1187-95. DOI: 10.1017/S0954579411000551
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Allostatic load is the "wear and tear" of the body resulting from the repeated activation of compensatory physiological mechanisms in response to chronic stress. Allostatic load can significantly affect the aging process and result in reduced longevity, accelerated aging, and impaired health. Although low socioeconomic status is associated with high allostatic load during aging, the effects of status-related psychosocial stress on allostatic load are often confounded by lifestyle variables. Chronic psychosocial stress associated with low dominance rank in nonhuman primates represents an excellent animal model with which to investigate allostatic load and aging in humans. Research conducted with free-ranging rhesus monkeys suggests that female reproduction can also be a source of stress and allostatic load. Female reproduction is associated with increased risk of mortality and hyperactivation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Reproduction is especially stressful and costly for aging females of low rank. Although many indicators of body condition and neuroendocrine and immune function are influenced by aging, there are marked and stable individual differences among aging females in body condition, plasma cortisol responses to stress, and cytokine responses to stress. These differences are consistent with the hypothesis that there are strong differences in chronic stress among individuals, and that allostatic load resulting from chronic stress affects health during aging. Comparisons between captive and free-ranging rhesus monkey populations may allow us to understand how differences in environmental stress and allostatic load affect rates of aging, and how these in turn translate into differences in longevity and health.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Potentially traumatic events (PTEs) are common in the population, yet, the impact of total burden and specific types of PTEs on physical health has not been systematically investigated. METHODS: Data were drawn from the Detroit Neighborhood Health Study, a community sample of predominately African Americans living in Detroit, Michigan, interviewed in 2008-2009 (N = 1,547) and in 2009-2010 (N = 1,054). Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards models were used. RESULTS: Respondents with the highest levels of PTE exposure (8+ events) had an average age of adverse physical health condition diagnosis that was 15 years earlier than respondents with no exposure. There was a monotonic relation between number of PTEs and arthritis risk. Compared to those who reported no lifetime events, respondents with 1-2, 3-4, 5-7, and 8+ traumatic events had 1.06, 1.12, 1.73, and 2.44 times the hazard of arthritis. Assaultive violence (HR = 1.7; 95% CI 1.2-2.3) and other threats to physical integrity (HR = 1.5, 95% CI 1.1-2.1) were particularly strong risk factors for arthritis. CONCLUSIONS: These results provide novel evidence linking PTEs, particularly those involving violence and threat to life, to elevated risk for arthritic conditions. Efforts to prevent or mitigate traumatic event exposures may have a broad range of benefits for health.
    Depression and Anxiety 03/2013; · 4.29 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Few studies have focused on injuries from the World Trade Center disaster on September 11, 2001. Severe injury has health consequences, including an increased mortality risk 10 years after injury and the risk of mental health problems, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The World Trade Center Health Registry identified 14,087 persons with none of a selected group of preexisting chronic conditions before 2002 who were present during and soon after the World Trade Center attacks, 1,980 of whom reported sustaining 1 or more types of injury (e.g., a broken bone or burn). Survey data obtained during 2003-2004 and 2006-2007 were used to assess the odds of reporting a diagnosis of chronic conditions (heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, cancer) up to 5-6 years after the attacks. Number of injury types and probable PTSD were significantly associated with having any chronic conditions diagnosed in 2002-2007. Persons with multiple injuries and PTSD had a 3-fold higher risk of heart disease than did those with no injury and no PTSD, and persons with multiple injuries and with no PTSD had a 2-fold higher risk of respiratory diseases. The present study shows that injured persons with or without comorbid PTSD have a higher risk of developing chronic diseases. Clinicians should be aware of the heightened risk of chronic heart and respiratory conditions among injured persons.
    American journal of epidemiology 02/2014; · 4.98 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Nonhuman primates (NHP) provide crucial biomedical model systems intermediate between rodents and humans. The vervet monkey (also called the African green monkey) is a widely used NHP model that has unique value for genetic and genomic investigations of traits relevant to human diseases. This article describes the phylogeny and population history of the vervet monkey and summarizes the use of both captive and wild vervet monkeys in biomedical research. It also discusses the effort of an international collaboration to develop the vervet monkey as the most comprehensively phenotypically and genomically characterized NHP, a process that will enable the scientific community to employ this model for systems biology investigations.
    ILAR journal / National Research Council, Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources 01/2013; 54(2):122-43. · 1.05 Impact Factor


Available from