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  • 1. Björk, Tabita
    et al.
    Brus, Ole
    Osika, Walter
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Montgomery, Scott
    Laterality, hand control and scholastic performance: a British birth cohort study2012In: BMJ Open, ISSN 2044-6055, E-ISSN 2044-6055, Vol. 2, no 2, p. e000314-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: To use simple measures of laterality and hand control that can identify a greater risk of poorer scholastic ability, potentially signalling suboptimal hemispheric lateralisation.

    Design: Analysis of material from a birth cohort study.

    Setting: Members of the National Child Development Study, a British birth cohort study following people born in 1958.

    Participants: 10 612 children who undertook tests at age 11 years.

    Primary outcome measures: Teacher-administered tests of non-verbal general ability, verbal general ability, reading comprehension and mathematics. 

    Results Linear regression produced associations (and 95% CIs) with tests of verbal general ability, non-verbal general ability, reading comprehension and mathematics scores for the lowest third (compared with highest) of a left-hand control test involving picking up matches of −1.21 (−1.73 to −0.68; p<0.001), −0.72 (−1.14 to −0.29; p=0.001), −0.70 (−1.06 to −0.35; p<0.001) and −1.32 (−1.90 to −0.73; p<0.001). Among those in the lowest third of the right-hand control test score, mixed-handedness compared with right-handedness was associated with poorer scholastic performance, with regression coefficients (and 95% CIs; p values) of 1.90 (−3.01 to −0.80; p=0.001), −1.25 (−2.15 to −0.35; p=0.007), −1.28 (2.04 to −0.53; p=0.001) and −1.33 (−2.53 to −0.13; p=0.030). The estimates are for a point change in the scholastic test scores, after adjustment for sex, left-hand motor function and social class. Statistically significant associations with mixed-handedness were only observed for the lowest third of right-hand motor function.

    Conclusions Measures involving poorer left-hand motor function may represent useful markers of reduced cognitive function possibly reflecting suboptimal hemispheric lateralisation. Crude measures of laterality such as reported non-right-handedness may be more useful for research when combined with measures of motor function.                        

  • 2. Chen, Yun
    et al.
    Dangardt, Frida
    Osika, Walter
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Berggren, Krister
    Gronowitz, Eva
    Friberg, Peter
    Age- and sex-related differences in vascular function and vascular response to mental stress. Longitudinal and cross-sectional studies in a cohort of healthy children and adolescents2012In: Atherosclerosis, ISSN 0021-9150, E-ISSN 1879-1484, Vol. 220, no 1, p. 269-274Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVE: Limited data, especially from longitudinal studies, are available regarding vascular health assessment in childhood. In this study, we performed longitudinal and cross-sectional studies in healthy children and adolescents to investigate age- and sex-related differences in vascular functions and vascular response to mental stress.

    METHODS: Pulse wave velocity (PWV) was measured by tonometry. Endothelial function and vascular response to mental arithmetic test were assessed using a peripheral artery tonometry device. Data were obtained in 162 adolescents (mean age of 17 years, 94 girls) in a 3-year follow-up study and 241 children (mean age of 10 years, 115 girls) in a first-time investigation. Physical activity was assessed in adolescents by a self-report questionnaire.

    RESULTS: Our 3-year follow-up study revealed that the increased PWV was greater in male adolescents (0.79±0.79m/s) than in females (0.27±0.89m/s, p<0.001). Adolescents who reported decreased physical activity over the 3-year period had increased arterial stiffness. Comparing the cross-sectional data, we found that sex-related differences in reactive hyperemic response was more apparent by evaluating the overall response curve than measuring the reactive hyperemic index from one arbitrary time point, with lower peak response and smaller area-under-curve found in boys. Moreover, we found that, in response to mental stress, male adolescents had a more vasoconstrictive response, followed by a less vasodilatory response, and needed longer time to return to baseline level than the females.

    CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that boys are likely to have adverse changes in vascular health earlier than the age-matched girls.

  • 3. Friberg, Peter
    et al.
    Hagquist, Curt
    Osika, Walter
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Self-perceived psychosomatic health in Swedish children, adolescents and young adults: an internet-based survey over time2012In: BMJ Open, ISSN 2044-6055, E-ISSN 2044-6055, Vol. 2, no 4, article id e000681Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVES: The authors investigated self-perceived psychosomatic health in young people (10-24 years of age) in Sweden and analysed different samples during the years 2005 and 2007-2010 via a community website.

    DESIGN: Repeated cross-sectional surveys: (1) single question on a single day in 2005. (2) One specific question delivered on each of eight separate days in 2005. (3) The same eight questions delivered to smaller groups on the same day in 2007 and then again to randomly selected subjects in 2010.

    SETTING: Validated questionnaires launched on the internet by a recognised Swedish community site. Study participants were invited to answer questions about their health with full anonymity as they logged into their personal area.

    PARTICIPANTS: 10-24-year-old children, adolescents and young adults. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Self-reported psychosomatic health in terms of sex and age over time.

    RESULTS: A large number of responses were obtained (up to 140 000). The response rate for the single item on stress was 41%. A high percentage of young subjects responded that they felt stressed very often/often; the numbers were higher for women (47%) than for men (29%). Older teenaged women had more psychosomatic complaints than did men of similar ages; in contrast, among 10-12-year-old children, the percentage of psychosomatic complaints was similar for men and women. When comparing results obtained in 2010 with those obtained in 2007, young people of both sexes had a slightly better self-perceived health status in 2007.

    CONCLUSIONS: During the period 2005-2010 a high percentage of young people, particularly females, 16-18 years of age, had psychosomatic complaints and considered themselves as being often or very often stressed. These complaints were more pronounced in the older age groups. When directing questions to a large community, internet-based surveys appear to be valuable tools.

  • 4. Myredal, Anna
    et al.
    Gan, Li Ming
    Osika, Walter
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Friberg, Peter
    Johansson, Mats
    Increased intima thickness of the radial artery in individuals with prehypertension and hypertension2010In: Atherosclerosis, ISSN 0021-9150, E-ISSN 1879-1484, Vol. 209, no 1, p. 147-151Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: We have used a novel ultra high-frequency (55 MHz) ultrasound technique to non-invasively measure the radial arterial vessel wall and separate the intima-media (IMT) complex into measurements of intima and media thickness (IT and MT). Since no previous study has measured IT and MT separately in individuals with prehypertension and hypertension, the aim of the current study was to measure IT and MT thickness of the radial arteries among individuals with prehypertension, hypertension and healthy subjects. Methods and results: Individuals with prehypertension (n = 32), hypertension (n = 34) and healthy subjects (n = 29) underwent ultra high-resolution ultrasound of the radial artery. Individuals with prehypertension showed a 14% increase in IT compared to healthy subjects (0.083 +/- 0.020 mm versus 0.073 +/- 0.015 mm; p < 0.05), whereas no difference was seen in MT. Individuals with hypertension showed a 12% increase of in IT compared to healthy subjects (0.082 +/- 0.018 mm versus 0.073 +/- 0.015 mm, p < 0.05), whereas no differences were seen regarding MT. Prehypertensive and hypertensive individuals did not differ regarding IT and MT. Conclusion: Both prehypertension and hypertension are associated with thickening of the intimal layer of the radial artery. The present data indicates that intima thickening appears early during the development of hypertension even when blood pressure is only slightly elevated.

  • 5.
    Osika, Walter
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Montgomery, S. M.
    Dangardt, F.
    Währborg, P.
    Gan, L. M.
    Tideman, E.
    Friberg, P.
    Anger, depression and anxiety associated with endothelial function in childhood and adolescence2011In: Archives of Disease in Childhood, ISSN 0003-9888, E-ISSN 1468-2044, Vol. 96, no 1, p. 38-43Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective Psychosocial adversity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in adults. The authors assessed associations of reactive hyperaemia peripheral arterial tonometry (RH-PAT), a measure of endothelial function predictive of CVD, with self-assessed psychological health among school children.

    Methods A total of 248 healthy school children (mean (SD) age 14.0 (1.0); 136 girls and 112 boys) underwent RH-PAT testing. They completed the Beck Youth Inventories (BYI) of emotional and social impairment scales, which is used to screen for depression, anxiety, anger and disruptive behaviour.

    Results No sex differences were observed for the RH-PAT score. Statistically significant differences were observed for the BYI scores; girls had higher scores for depression, anger and anxiety. Among the girls, there were statistically significant associations between lower RH-PAT scores and higher scores for anger (B coefficient=−0.100, p=0.040), depression (−0.108, p=0.009) and anxiety (−0.138, p=0.039) after adjustment for age. Among the boys, disruptive behaviour was associated with higher RH-PAT scores (0.09, p=0.006).

    Conclusions The girls have higher levels of self-assessed anger; depression and anxiety compared with the boys, and these characteristics are associated with lower RH-PAT scores, indicating attenuated endothelial function. Among the boys, disruptive behaviour was associated with better endothelial function. Although psychological ill-health is associated with impaired endothelial function and CVD among adults, such processes may also be relevant to children. Psychosocial adversity in childhood might be a risk factor for subsequent CVD.

  • 6.
    Perski, Aleksander
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Osika, Walter
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Det stressade hjärtat2012 (ed. 2)Book (Other academic)
  • 7. Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    et al.
    Osika, Walter
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Missimer, Merlina
    Att planera för social hållbarhet på ett systematiskt sätt2013In: Socialmedicinsk Tidskrift, ISSN 0037-833X, p. 274-281Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Detta är en översiktlig beskrivning av ett nytt forskningsmässigt angreppssätt för att göra begreppet Social Hållbarhet mer operationellt. Det är en bearbetad text från en föreläsning om ett doktorandprojekt (Missimer 2013; Missimer, Robèrt, Broman och Oldmark 2013) som Karl-Henrik Robèrt höll i samband med en konferens om Medkänsla och social hållbarhet på KI hösten 2012. Hållbar utveckling = att aktivt designa "icke-hållbarhet" ut ur de sociala och ekologiska systemen, och se till att icke-hållbarhet behålls utanför systemet.

  • 8.
    Theorell, Töres
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Osika, Walter
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Leineweber, Constanze
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Magnusson Hanson, Linda L.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Bojner Horwitz, Eva
    Westerlund, Hugo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Is cultural activity at work related to mental health in employees?2013In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 86, no 3, p. 281-288Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: To examine relationships between work-based cultural activities and mental employee health in working Swedes.

    Hypothesis: A positive relationship between frequent cultural activity at work and good employee health was expected.

    Research design: Random sample of working Swedish men and women in three waves, 2006, 2008 and 2010, on average 60 % participation rate.

    Methods: A postal questionnaire with questions about cultural activities organised for employees and about emotional exhaustion (Maslach) and depressive symptoms (short form of SCL). Employee assessments of "non-listening manager" and work environment ("psychological demands" and "decision latitude") as well as socioeconomic variables were covariates. Cross-sectional analyses for each study year as well as prospective analyses for 2006-2008 and 2008-2010 were performed.

    Main outcome and results: Lower frequency of cultural activities at work during the period of high unemployment. The effects of relationships with emotional exhaustion were more significant than those with depressive symptoms. The associations were attenuated when adjustments were made for manager function (does your manager listen?) and demand/control. Associations were more pronounced during the period with low unemployment and high cultural activity at work (2008). In a prospective analysis, cultural activity at work in 2008 had an independent statistically significant "protective" effect on emotional exhaustion in 2010. No corresponding such association was found between 2006 and 2008.

    Conclusions: Cultural activities at work vary according to business cycle and have a statistical association with mental employee health, particularly with emotional exhaustion.

    Implications for future research: There are particularly pronounced statistical protective effects of frequent cultural activity at work on likelihood of emotional exhaustion among employees.

  • 9.
    Wallén, Martin Benka
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Hasson, Dan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Theorell, Töres
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Canlon, Barbara
    Osika, Walter
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute.
    Possibilities and limitations of the polar RS800 in measuring heart rate variability at rest2012In: European Journal of Applied Physiology, ISSN 1439-6319, E-ISSN 1439-6327, Vol. 112, no 3, p. 1153-1165Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A growing trend among clinical studies is the use of heart rate monitors (HRMs) for assessment of heart rate variability (HRV). These instruments offer a convenient alternative to traditional electrocardiographs (ECGs) for recording and processing of R-R data. Reports on the validity of such systems are, however, conflicting. This study aimed to assess the validity of a commercial HRM on a large study sample, with emphasis on gender and age. Simultaneous recordings of R-R intervals were conducted with the Polar RS800 HRM and a 3-lead ECG on 341 individuals. Data editing was performed with individually designated software for each instrument. Agreement on SDNN, RMSSD, and HF- and LF power was assessed with intraclass correlations (ICCs), standard errors of measurement (SEMs) and Bland and Altman plots. The HRM was not able to identify 18 observations with non-sinus beats. For men, agreement between instruments ranged from good to excellent (ICC >= 0.8) on all HRV measures, and SEMs were generally small. For women the results were weaker, with unacceptable agreement between instruments on SDNN. Women over 60 years did not reach a critical ICC value of 0.75 on any of the HRV measures. Bland and Altman plots demonstrated that the RS800 generally overestimated HRV, and that uncertainty increased with higher values. Since the Polar system did not identify errors satisfactorily, or return valid values of HRV for certain groups, it is concluded that, whenever possible, traditional ECGs should be used for both gathering and editing of HRV data.

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