PUBLISHED: 21:42 EST, 16 June 2012 | UPDATED: 22:36 EST, 16 June 2012
Americans are more stressed out than they were 30 years ago with young women among those feeling the brunt of it a first ever assessment of individual stress levels in U.S. reports.
A 10 to 30 per cent stress increase was found through surveys of approximately 6,300 Americans over the age of 18 in 1983 and again in 2006 and 2009 through all demographics.
Consistently women, those under the age of 35, individuals with lower incomes and those with lower educations were found the most stressed in all three years’ surveys conducted by Carnegie Mellon University’s Sheldon Cohen and Denise Janicki-Deverts.
The good news, the study found that as Americans age over 55 they reported their stress levels cooling with retirees showing consistently low levels.
Dr David Spiegel, a psychiatrist at Stanford University School of Medicine, found the upped figures as no surprise.
‘Economic pressures are greater, and it’s harder to turn off information, and it’s harder to buffer ourselves from the world,’ he toldUSA Today.
Dr Cohen notes that because the first survey was conducted by telephone in 1983 opposed to online survey in 2006 and 2009, there’s potential for skewed absolute findings in whether Americas are more stressed than 26 years ago.
‘But, it’s clear that stress is still very much present in Americans’ lives,’ he said in a release, adding their attached risk of diseases ‘such as cardiovascular, asthma and autoimmune disorders.’
In a separate co-authored report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in April, his team found that psychological stress affects the body’s ability to regulate inflammation, potentially strengthening disease.
Because of this affect, chronic stress, his report notes, can be associated with ‘depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, upper respiratory infections, and poorer wound healing.’