Strong social support systems, which in epidemiologic studies are associated with decreased morbidity and mortality, have been hypothesized to mitigate the harmful effects of stressful stimuli on the individual. The authors found that, among 256 healthy elderly adults, individuals with good social support systems tended to have lower serum cholesterol and uric acid levels and higher indices of immune function; these correlations were independent of age, body mass, tobacco use, alcohol intake, and degree of perceived psychological distress. Thus, social support systems may intervene between the stressful stimulus and the physiologic response to that stimulus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health