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Cortisol and its Health Impacts

Cortisol and its Health Impacts

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Cortisol and its Health Impacts

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  1. Cortisol and its Health Impacts Presenter: Dr. Leung Yiu Kin Associate Professor, Psychology Department, CUHK Dr. Chung Ting Yiu Programme Director, Public Opinion Programme, HKU Date: November 10, 2003

  2. Survey on Cortisol and its Health Impacts Presenter: Dr Chung Ting Yiu Programme Director, Public Opinion Programme, HKU

  3. RESEARCH OVERVIEW

  4. Successful rate: 72.7% Total dialed numbers: 3,756 Unable to identify whether numbers are qualified: 1,505 Qualified numbers but unable conduct interview: 637 Successful interviews: 610 Unqualified numbers: 1,004 Call details

  5. Demographic Information

  6. GENDER FEMALE MALE Successful Samples: 610

  7. AGE Successful Samples: 610

  8. OCCUPATION Successful Samples: 594

  9. MARITAL STATUS Successful Samples: 605

  10. WHETHER RESPONDENTS ARE THE FAMILY BREADWINNER Successful Samples: 606

  11. SURVEY RESULTS

  12. Evaluation of Stress Level of Hong Kong Working Population (Self Evaluation)

  13. Over half consider life is stressful this year not stressful at all not too stressful very stressful quite stressful 54% average Successful sample: 610

  14. Among those who are stressful, 73% are more stressful this year than last year Successful samples: 331

  15. Evaluation of Hong Kong working population’s stress hormone induced health problems (Objective evaluation)

  16. The majority of respondents have experienced stress hormone induced health problems in the past 12 months Stress hormone induced problems experienced by respondents in the past 12 months 72% 72% 69% 65% 62% 61% 59% 56% 48% Successful samples: 610 * Male>30 inches,Female>28 inches

  17. 90% experienced 3 or more stress hormone induced health problems in the past 12 months Successful Samples: 610

  18. Awareness of Stress Hormone Cortisol and Its Health Problems

  19. don’t know/hard to tell yes never Only ¼ have heard about the stress hormone cortisol Successful Samples: 610

  20. Of those who have heard of cortisol, most do not know cortisol may cause serious health problems In your opinion, what health problems are caused by cortisol? Successful samples: 151 (who have heard about stress hormone cortisol)

  21. Summary • The majority of Hong Kong working population is not aware of the impacts of stress hormone cortisol has on physical and mental health. • Only ¼ of the respondents have heard of "cortisol“, and yet, most of them are only aware of its mood related impacts, rather than its association with chronic diseases (such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases).

  22. Impacts of stress hormone on work, family, and social life

  23. Over 60% said stress hormone induced health problems are affecting their work Successful Samples: 609

  24. Over 80% whose work is affected said stress hormone induced health problems have affected job efficiency Impacts of stress hormone induced health problems on work 84% 29% 29% Successful Samples: 380 (whose work is affected)

  25. Over 70% whose family life is affected reduce communication with family members, or even give them hard time Impacts of stress hormone induced health problems on family life 77% 73% Successful Samples: 231 (whose family life is affected)

  26. Conclusion

  27. Hong Kong working population is under prolonged stress, which is worrying • The majority of Hong Kong working population claimed they are very or quite stressful. • 90% respondents have experienced at least three stress hormone induced health problems in the past 12 months. Most think such health problems affect work efficiency. • As the economy has not been fully recovered, unemployment rate is still high. People needs to “add value” to their work all the time. With salary cut/freeze coming for next year, to prevent stress induced health problems, it is important for Hong Kong workers to properly relieve the stress from work, family and social life.

  28. Hypercortisolism and its Health Problems Presenter: Dr. Leung Yiu Kin Associate Professor, Psychology Department, CUHK

  29. SHORT-TERM vs LONG-TERM STRESS • Short-term stress (eg: meet bad guy in an interview) • Long-term stress (eg: bad guy becomes your boss) • Long-term stress: Prolonged, uncontrollable and inescapable stress, causing changes in body mechanics in order to produce energy to cope with stress

  30. The HPA Axis (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal gland)

  31. Biological change due to stress hormone, cortisol • Stress hormone, Cortisol, breakdowns protein and body fats and turns them to glucose in order to supply body with more energy to deal with stress • The body needs proteins to form high-level biochemical substance, and thus prolonged breaking of protein and fats will cause : • Suppression of immunity (lack white blood cells) • Inability to repair damaged cells • The problem that the brain stops thinking about pleasurable things and instead focusing on potential threats, therefore, increasing anxiety and depression • Damage of brain cells, affecting memory, sleep quality and concentration • Cardiovascular diseases (such as stroke, heart diseases) • Diabetes

  32. Emotional stress and neuro-atrophy (Magarinos, et al., 1996)

  33. Loss of neurons and dendritic atrophy in stressed male monkey (Sapolsky, 1990)

  34. Prolonged hypercortisolism is detrimental to health and must not be undermined

  35. How to handle prolonged hypercortisolism?

  36. How to deal with it effectively? Focus on the basics: find out root causes of stress • lifestyle • interpersonal relationship • job mismatch If the causes cannot be resolved, should change the way we think and apply behavioural changes

  37. 7-well Approach for Stress-relief BodyMind Eatwell Love well Sleep well Play well Exercise well Work well Attitude well

  38. The End