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Stress has a negative effect on an older person’s response to pneumonia vaccine.

15 Aug
Stress has a negative effect on an older person’s response to pneumonia vaccine.
Ronald Glaser and his research team (Sheridan, Malarkey, MacCallum, Kiecolt-Glaser) at Ohio State University report that stress has a negative effect on an older person’s response to pneumonia vaccine [Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine 2000, Nov-Dec; 62 (6): pp 804-807].

It had been previously reported that older people who care for spouses with dementia have poorer antibody and T cell responses to flu vaccine, as compared to non-caregivers.

This study looked at the IgG antibody response to pneumonia vaccine, and found that dementia caregivers, as compared to non-caregivers and former caregivers, had significant deficits in their antibody responses to their vaccination when checked at 3 and 6 months post vaccination, even though they were comparable at 2 weeks and 1 month post.

This is the first evidence to show that chronic stress can inhibit the stability of the IgG antibody response to a bacterial vaccine for pneumonia, thus providing additional evidence of the health risks associated with dementia caregiving.

Both Ronald Glaser and Janice Kiecolt-Glaser are prolific contributors to the research literature on the factors that modulate immune response.

Citation: .
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award