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A protocol for the chronic stress and cardiovascular risk assessment

Grant number: 11/19505-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2011
Effective date (End): November 30, 2012
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Physiology - General Physiology
Principal Investigator:Regina Celia Spadari
Grantee:Mayara Silveira Bianchim
Host Institution: Instituto de Saúde e Sociedade (ISS). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Baixada Santista. Santos , SP, Brazil


A major goal of current research on stress is to establish biological markers that can identify stress. Some mediators to stressful response coordinate the physiological reactions that result in the fight or flight response. When unable to flee or fight these mediators promote adaptation to the new situation. This adaptation is not always successful or achieved by the body and can lead to the onset of stress-related illnesses. Thus, high levels of stress are related to the development of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease. Aging is an important risk factor in the genesis of these disorders associated with other variables that we can include, such as poor eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, obesity, all related to lifestyle. Various physiological parameters can be used as indicators of stress, however we still don't have a protocol for the evaluation of stress that includes all these parameters. The aim of this study is to assess the prevalence of chronic stress and cardiovascular risk factors in an elderly population, from these data, establish a protocol for evaluation of stress. Sixty volunteers, 60 to 70 years will be stratified by the levels of physical activity by the Baecke Questionnaire. Evidence of cardiovascular, osteoarthritis, neuromuscular or metabolic impairment sufficient to prevent the development of physical exercises, are the exclusion criteria for this study. Anthropometric data, body composition and blood concentrations of glucose and lipids will be evaluated. The heart rate will be collected through a frequency meter (Polar) and subsequently analyzed by the software Kubios in order to determine the cardiac frequency variability (CFV). The 6-minute walk test will assess the exercise capacity. Salivary cortisol and the Perceived Stress Questionnaire will comprise the assessment of stress. (AU)

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