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The prevalence of mental strain and stress has increased in modern societies, resulting in increased public health problems. Stress can be measured either by biomarkers or by self-reports. A new biomarker that measures long-term biological stress is cortisol measured in timed hair extracts. Hair grows at approximately 1 cm per month, and retrospectively reflects average stress levels. However, the plausible relationship between perceived stress and self-reported health and this novel biomarker is yet not firmly established. The objective of this study was to investigate the possible relationship between perceived stress, self-reported health, and cortisol in hair extracts in healthy middle-aged women from two different occupations.
Faresjö, Å., Jullander, M., Götmalm, S., & Theodorsson, E. (2014). Higher perceived stress and poorer health reflected in elevated cortisol concentrations measured in extracts of hair from middle-aged healthy women. BMC Psychology, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-014-0030-7