Stress, Coping, and Infectious Illness: Persistently Low Natural Killer Cell Activity as a Host Risk Factor
Annual rept. 1 Mar-31 Oct 1988
PITTSBURGH UNIV PA
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Recent Japanese research, as well as pilot work preliminary to this current project, have pointed to a possible association between mood and lowered natural killer NK cell activity. In this previous work, a subgroup of individuals characterized by persistently low NK activity, and self-reported depression and fatigue, tended to report more serious illness on follow-up assessment. In this current study, we have accrued approximately, 104 normal individuals to this prospective project. Preliminary analyses have been carried out in order to identify the incidence of persistently low natural killer cell activity in this population of young adults, and to characterize the psychological profile associated with this pattern of NK activity. Results showed that in both univariate analyses, as well as in logistic regression models, age and the perception of environmental stressors or hassles predicted persistently low NK activity. Younger subjects, who perceived environmental events to which they were exposed as more serious in nature, were more likely to exhibit a persistently low NK profile over time than older individuals who perceived daily events as less important to them.
- Medicine and Medical Research