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Salivary Bioscience News

The stress response to perceived discrimination as indicated by salivary measures

Perceived Discrimination, Racial Identity, and Multisystem Stress Response to Social Evaluative Threat among African American Men and Women

Author: Lucas T, et al (2016), Psychosomatic Medicine.

OBJECTIVES: Understanding individual differences in the psychobiology of the stress response is critical to grasping how psychosocial factors contribute to racial and ethnic health disparities. However, the ways in which environmentally sensitive biological systems coordinate in response to acute stress is not well understood. We used a social-evaluative stress task to investigate coordination among the autonomic nervous system, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and immune/inflammatory system in a community sample of 85 healthy African American men and women.

CONCLUSION: Culturally relevant social perceptions may be linked to a specific pattern of changing alignment in biological components of the stress response. Better understanding these links may significantly advance understanding of stress-related illnesses and disparities.

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Keywords: Salivary cortisol, salivary alpha-amylase, salivary C-reactive protein, stress, discrimination

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