Prolonged exposure to adrenaline may be cause of harmful effects of stress

Stress has the potential to do more than cause feelings of anxiousness or unease, it can also lead to a host of conditions and illnesses. Until now, the medical community has had only an idea of why stress affects the body.

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center believe that the elevated adrenaline levels that occur when a person is stressed may be the cause of stress’ possible disease-causing effect.

In a mouse model, a team of scientists found that inducing stress in rodents through an infusion of a compound that is similar to adrenaline resulted in DNA damage by triggering certain biological pathways.

“This could give us a plausible explanation of how chronic stress may lead to a variety of human conditions and disorders, which range from merely cosmetic, like graying hair, to life-threatening disorders like malignancies,” said senior author Robert Lefkowitz, M.D.

For many individuals, their job is a main source of stress. Results of this study suggest that staving off anxiety may be key in preventing disease.

Employee wellness programs that provide tools and resources for stress management have been shown to be effective in reducing workplace stress, improving employee performance and lowering costs stemming from health insurance.

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