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Happiness and Inflammatory Responses to Acute Stress in People With Type 2 Diabetes

Panagi, L; Poole, L; Hackett, RA; Steptoe, A; (2019) Happiness and Inflammatory Responses to Acute Stress in People With Type 2 Diabetes. Annals of Behavioral Medicine , 53 (4) pp. 309-320. 10.1093/abm/kay039. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Positive psychological characteristics in people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are associated with better health and longevity, and one plausible physiological mechanism involves lower markers of inflammation. Positive affect is related to lower basal inflammatory markers and smaller inflammatory responses to acute stress, but this association in people with T2D remains to be examined. Purpose: To examine the relationship between happiness and inflammatory markers at baseline and in response to acute stress in people with T2D. Methods One hundred forty people with T2D took part in laboratory-based stress testing. We aggregated daily happiness ratings over 7 days before stress testing. During the laboratory session, participants underwent two mental stress tasks—the mirror tracing and the Stroop task. Blood was sampled at baseline and post-stress (up to 75 min post-stress) to detect plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1). Associations between happiness and inflammatory markers and responses were analyzed using multivariable linear regressions. Results: Greater daily happiness significantly predicted lower baseline and post-stress IL-6 concentrations, and lower baseline MCP-1, after adjusting for covariates. The association between happiness and reduced basal IL-6 maintained after further controlling for daily sadness. We did not find significant associations between daily happiness and inflammatory responses to acute stress. No associations were detected for IL-1Ra. Conclusions: Happier individuals with T2D have lower inflammatory markers before and after acute stress, albeit independent of stress responsivity. Findings could provide a protective physiological pathway linking daily happiness with better health in people with T2D.

Type: Article
Title: Happiness and Inflammatory Responses to Acute Stress in People With Type 2 Diabetes
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/abm/kay039
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1093/abm/kay039
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Type 2 diabetes, Happiness, Mental stress, Inflammatory markers, Stress responses
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10050693
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