Evaluation Of Stress By Quantitative Hormone Studies
Data in the literature and own investigations indicate a correlation between the degree of stress in a subject and the excretion of free adrenaline and noradrenaline in urine.
Catecholamine excretion is preferably expressed as ng/min, to allow comparison between excretion at rest and during stimuli of various lengths.
Noradrenaline excretion is mainly correlated to the degree of activation of the vasomotor system and is increased in erect position, during exposure to other gravitational forces, during muscular work, and under certain conditions of stress associated with aggressiveness and anger.
Adrenaline excretion is increased in a variety of conditions of mental stress; e.g. during performance of certain tasks, examinations, excitation by external stimuli, fear, pain, or other disagreeable conditions , and anticipation of such states, particularly when involving competition or possible dangers.
Increased catecholamine excretion has been observed during aircraft transportation, advanced flying including supersonic flights, manned suborbital flights, parachute jumping, and runs in the human centrifuge.
Infusion of adrenaline in healthy subjects causes discomfort and tenseness in the majority of cases. Proficiency seems to be increased by adrenaline during the performance of certain tasks, while a tendency in the opposite direction is noted in other tests.
Habituation to certain stress-inducing situations tends to decrease the adrenaline excretion.
Attempts to correlate the catacholamine excretion pattern and personality traits seem to indicate that such studies may be of value for the characterization of individuality types and as a means of predicting their reaction pattern to stress. Quantitative evaluation of stress by the catecholamine excretion tests may also provide some information on mental or bodily alterations which may affect performance.
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