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Grimby G.,Gothenburg University | Borjesson M.,The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences | Jonsdottir I.H.,The Institute of Stress Medicine | Schnohr P.,The Copenhagen City Heart Study | And 3 more authors.
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports | Year: 2015

The use of a four-level questionnaire to assess leisure time physical activity (PA) and its validation is reviewed in this paper. This questionnaire was first published in 1968 and has then been used by more than 600 000 subjects, especially in different population studies in the Nordic countries. A number of modifications to the questionnaire have been published. These are mostly minor changes, such as adding practical examples of activities to illustrate the levels of PA. Some authors have also added duration requirements that were not included for all levels of PA in the original version. The concurrent validity, with respect to aerobic capacity and movement analysis using objective measurements has been shown to be good, as has the predictive validity with respect to various risk factors for health conditions and for morbidity and mortality. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Source


Lennartsson A.-K.,The Institute of Stress Medicine | Lennartsson A.-K.,Gothenburg University | Kushnir M.M.,Uppsala University | Kushnir M.M.,Arup | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Psychophysiology | Year: 2012

It is well known that acute psychosocial stress activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). However, the effect of acute psychosocial stress on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis and levels of sex steroids are less known. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of acute psychosocial stress on serum concentrations of sex steroids in healthy men and women. Twenty men and 19 women (age 30-50. years) underwent Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), a tool for investigating psychobiological stress responses in a laboratory setting. Blood samples were collected before, directly after the stress test, and after 30. min of recovery. Concentrations of androgens were measured with high specificity LC-MS/MS method; concentrations of cortisol, estradiol and sex hormone-binding globulin were determined using immunoassays. In both men and women we observed significantly elevated levels of testosterone, estradiol, androstenedione and sex hormone binding globulin along with significantly increased adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), serum cortisol, heart rate, systolic blood pressure (SBP), and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) as a response to the stressor. Thus, even though the HPG axis and the production of sex steroids may be inhibited during prolonged periods of stress, the sex steroid levels may increase in the initial phase of acute psychosocial stress. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source


Sjors A.,The Institute of Stress Medicine | Sjors A.,Linkoping University | Ljung T.,Mid Sweden University | Jonsdottir I.H.,The Institute of Stress Medicine | Jonsdottir I.H.,Gothenburg University
Biological Psychology | Year: 2014

This study investigated the association between diurnal salivary cortisol profile and perceived stress at work and at home. Healthy participants (N= 180, 52% women) collected saliva cortisol samples immediately after waking up, 15. min later, 30. min later, and at 9:00, 12:00, 15:00, 18:00 and 21:00. The area under the cortisol awakening curve with respect to ground (AUCgCAR) and increase (AUCiCAR), and diurnal slope between 9:00 and 21:00 were analyzed. Perceived stress at work and at home was measured with the Stress-Energy Questionnaire.Participants reporting stress at home had significantly lower AUCgCAR and a flatter diurnal slope. When performing separate analyses for men and women, this association was only significant among women. Perceived stress at work was not associated with any cortisol measure.This study highlights the importance of stress outside the workplace. The sex differences may indicate an increased vulnerability to non-work stress in women. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source


Lennartsson A.-K.,The Institute of Stress Medicine | Sjors A.,The Institute of Stress Medicine | Wahrborg P.,Gothenburg University | Ljung T.,Mid Sweden University | And 2 more authors.
Frontiers in Psychiatry | Year: 2015

Background: Common consequences of long-term psychosocial stress are fatigue and burnout. It has been suggested that burnout could be associated with hypocortisolism, thus, inability to produce sufficient amounts of cortisol. This study aimed to investigate whether patients with clinical burnout exhibit aberrant ACTH and cortisol responses under acute psychosocial stress compared with healthy individuals. Methods: Nineteen patients (9 men and 10 women) and 37 healthy subjects (20 men and 17 women), underwent the Trier Social Stress Test. Blood samples and saliva samples were collected before, after, and during the stress test for measurements of plasma ACTH, serum cortisol, and salivary cortisol. Several statistical analyses were conducted to compare the responses between patients and controls. In addition, in order to investigate the possibility that burnout patients with more severe symptoms would respond differently, sub-groups of patients reporting higher and lower burnout scores were compared. Results: In both patients and healthy controls, we observed elevated levels of ACTH and cortisol after exposure to the stressor. There were no differences in responses of ACTH, serum cortisol, or salivary cortisol between patients and controls. Patients reporting higher burnout scores had lower salivary cortisol responses than controls, indicating that patients with more severe burnout symptoms may be suffering from hypocortisolism. In addition, patients with more severe burnout symptoms tended to have smaller ACTH responses than the other patients. However, there was no corresponding difference in serum cortisol. Conclusion: This study indicates that hypocortisolism is not present in a clinical burnout patient group as a whole but may be present in the patients with more severe burnout symptoms. © 2015 Lennartsson, Sjörs, Währborg, Ljung and Jonsdottir. Source


Lennartsson A.-K.,The Institute of Stress Medicine | Lennartsson A.-K.,Gothenburg University | Theorell T.,University of Stockholm | Kushnir M.M.,Uppsala University | And 6 more authors.
Psychoneuroendocrinology | Year: 2013

Background: Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) have been suggested to play a protective role during acute psychosocial stress, because they act as antagonists to the effects of the stress hormone cortisol. This study aims to investigate whether prolonged psychosocial stress, measured as perceived stress at work during the past week, is related to the capacity to produce DHEA and DHEA-S during acute psychosocial stress. It also aims to investigate whether prolonged perceived stress affects the balance between production of cortisol and DHEA-S during acute psychosocial stress. Method: Thirty-six healthy subjects (19 men and 17 women, mean age 37 years, SD 5 years), were included. Perceived stress at work during the past week was measured by using the Stress-Energy (SE) Questionnaire. The participants were divided into three groups based on their mean scores; Low stress, Medium stress and High stress. The participants underwent the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) and blood samples were collected before, directly after the stress test, and after 30. min of recovery. General Linear Models were used to investigate if the Medium stress group and the High stress group differ regarding stress response compared to the Low stress group. Results: Higher perceived stress at work was associated with attenuated DHEA-S response during acute psychosocial stress. Furthermore, the ratio between the cortisol production and the DHEA-S production during the acute stress test were higher in individuals reporting higher perceived stress at work compared to individuals reporting low perceived stress at work. There was no statistical difference in DHEA response between the groups. Conclusions: This study shows that prolonged stress, measured as perceived stress at work during the past week, seems to negatively affect the capacity to produce DHEA-S during acute stress. Given the protective functions of DHEA-S, attenuated DHEA-S production during acute stress may lead to higher risk for adverse effects on psychological and physiological health, particularly if stress exposure continues. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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