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Hair cortisol concentration is unaffected by basic military training, but related to sociodemographic and environmental factors


Bösch, Maria; Sefidan, Sandra; Annen, Hubert; Ehlert, Ulrike; Roos, Lilian; Van Uum, Stan; Russell, Evan; Koren, Gideon; La Marca, Roberto (2015). Hair cortisol concentration is unaffected by basic military training, but related to sociodemographic and environmental factors. Stress, 18(1):35-41.

Abstract

Abstract The analysis of hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) is a promising new biomarker for retrospective measurement of chronic stress. The effect of basic military training (BMT) on chronic stress has not yet been reported. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of 10-week BMT on HCC, while further exploring the role of known and novel covariates. Young healthy male recruits of the Swiss Army participated twice, ten weeks apart, in data collection (1(st) examination: n = 177; 2(nd) examination: n = 105). On two occasions, we assessed HCC, perceived stress, and different candidate variables that may affect HCC (e.g., socioeconomic status, meteorological data). Military training increased perceived stress from the first to the second examination, but did not affect HCC. In line with this, there was no correlation between HCC and perceived stress ratings. This could be interpreted as a missing influence of mainly physical stress (e.g. exercise) on HCC. In contrast, significant correlations were found between HCC and ambient temperature, humidity, and education. Future studies should control for meteorological data and educational status when examining HCC.

Abstract

Abstract The analysis of hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) is a promising new biomarker for retrospective measurement of chronic stress. The effect of basic military training (BMT) on chronic stress has not yet been reported. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of 10-week BMT on HCC, while further exploring the role of known and novel covariates. Young healthy male recruits of the Swiss Army participated twice, ten weeks apart, in data collection (1(st) examination: n = 177; 2(nd) examination: n = 105). On two occasions, we assessed HCC, perceived stress, and different candidate variables that may affect HCC (e.g., socioeconomic status, meteorological data). Military training increased perceived stress from the first to the second examination, but did not affect HCC. In line with this, there was no correlation between HCC and perceived stress ratings. This could be interpreted as a missing influence of mainly physical stress (e.g. exercise) on HCC. In contrast, significant correlations were found between HCC and ambient temperature, humidity, and education. Future studies should control for meteorological data and educational status when examining HCC.

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9 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:DoktoratPSYCH Erstautor
Date:2015
Deposited On:10 Dec 2014 14:12
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:37
Publisher:Taylor & Francis Inc.
ISSN:1025-3890
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3109/10253890.2014.974028
PubMed ID:25287135

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