Journal Logo

In This Issue

Article Summaries for September 2014 Psychosomatic Medicine, Vol. 76, Issue 7

doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000112
  • Free

Childhood adversity may influence biological risk factors for chronic diseases. Slopen et al. examined whether this association varies by the affluence of one’s neighborhood in adulthood. An index to reflect cumulative biological risk was based on resting heart rate, blood pressure, C-reactive protein, waist circumference, hemoglobin A1c, HDL and total cholesterol. The results showed childhood adversity was associated with elevated cumulative biological risk, particularly elevated blood pressure and HbA1c and lower HDL. The association between childhood adversity and cumulative biological risk was only found in individuals who lived in less-affluent neighborhoods in adulthood.

Pages 481–489; Web:

In an accompanying editorial, Gallo et al. suggest that the article by Slopen and colleagues provides an example of the utility of an allostatic load framework (indicating the accumulation of physical wear and tear) when examining the link between psychosocial factors and cumulative biological risk factors. They comment on important issues in methodology and research design that may guide future research.

Pages 478–480; Web:

Read and Grundy investigated the directionality of associations between allostatic load, walking speed, and self-rated health. Using longitudinal data from a representative sample of adults aged 60 and above, they examined associations over time using autoregressive cross-lagged models. Self-rated health and faster walking speed predicted allostatic load, whereas associations reflecting the reverse direction were weaker.

Pages 490–496; Web:

Biopsychosocial health care needs were examined by Wild et al. in a large population-based sample of older adults (mean age 69 years). Elevated scores on a measure of biopsychosocial health care needs were strongly correlated with reduced health-related quality of life, increased depression, anxiety, and somatic symptom severity as well as increased health care costs.

Pages 497–502; Web:

Lowe et al. examined the effects of brain stimulation on self-control of food intake. Brain areas involved in executive functions, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), influence dietary self-restraint. This study showed that down-regulating DLPC activity by transcranial stimulation to the left DLPFC resulted in both increased subjective food cravings and actual consumption of high-calorie snack foods.

Pages 503–511; Web:

Lumley et al. developed and tested a device that tracks heart rate (HR) during daily life and triggers a smart phone to obtain subjective stress ratings and behavioral data when HR is elevated. Forty women employed as managers wore the device during 1 workday. Results indicated that high immediate (momentary) stress predicted elevated HR at work and that this effect was primarily found in women with high levels of chronic work stress.

Pages 512–518; Web:

Breast cancer has been associated with dysregulation of stress-related hormones such as cortisol, but the role of poor sleep is still unknown. Tell et al. examined day-to-day variations in sleep behaviors, ongoing sleep disturbance, and fatigue in relationship to the pattern of cortisol secretions in women recently diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. Findings revealed that both daily variations in sleep behaviors and ongoing sleep disturbance and fatigue were associated with a disrupted cortisol rhythm. Understanding these processes is relevant to research on biobehavioral processes in breast cancer progression.

Pages 519–528; Web:

Post-stress recovery is an important topic in laboratory and clinical research. Radstaak et al. examined whether listening to self-chosen music after exposure to an experimental stress condition improves mood, decreases subjective arousal and rumination, and facilitates cardiovascular recovery. The researchers found that listening to self-selected music is an effective mood enhancer but delays blood pressure recovery.

Pages 529–537; Web:

McLaughlin et al. present a novel framework for conceptualizing stress reactivity in adolescents who have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. The researchers hypothesized that in the context of a social-evaluative stressor, adolescents with a history of abuse would exhibit a threat pattern. Evidence was found for stress-induced sympathetic nervous system activation paired with elevated vascular resistance and blunted cardiac output reactivity in adolescents who had experienced childhood maltreatment.

Pages 538–546; Web:

The association between depressive and menstrual symptoms was examined by Beal et al. in a 3-year longitudinal study of adolescent girls. The results showed that girls with elevated depressive symptoms and somatic complaints are at greater risk for experiencing menstrual symptoms and increasing symptoms across adolescence.

Pages 547–554; Web:

Demakakos et al. examined the bidirectional associations between categories of depressive symptoms and glucose metabolism (normoglycemic, impaired glucose metabolism [IGM], and undiagnosed and diagnosed diabetes) in a community sample of 4238 adults aged 50 years or older. Elevated depressive symptoms were associated with incident diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes at 6 years follow-up but not IGM. Undiagnosed diabetes was not associated with future elevated depressive symptoms, and diagnosed diabetes was only associated with future depressive symptoms in participants younger than 65.

Pages 555–561; Web:

In a population-based study, Huth et al. examined whether job strain is associated with an increased risk of subsequent development of Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). During a median follow-up of 12.7 years, participants with high job strain at baseline had a 45% higher fully adjusted risk to develop T2DM than did those with low job strain.

Pages 562–568; Web:

Myocardial ischemia induced by mental stress or physical stress predicts a worse prognosis in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Vitamin D insufficiency is associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes, but its relationship to inducibility of myocardial ischemia remains unclear. In a study of 255 patients with stable CAD, Ramadan et al. found that vitamin D insufficiency was associated with a higher prevalence of mental stress–induced ischemia but not physical stress–induced ischemia.

Pages 569–575; Web:

Copyright © 2014 by American Psychosomatic Society