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Table 3.

Association of higher perceived stress and telomere length: stratified analyses

Stratification factornPerceived stress
Difference in telomere length
% moderate, high, or very high stress levelβ*95% CI lower, upper
Urinary hormone levels     
    Epinephrine     
        Low 328 59 210 −23, 442 
        High 315 54 −484 −709, −259 
    Norepinephrine     
        Low 322 55 −27 −263, 208 
        High 322 58 −246 −475, −17 
    Dopamine     
        Low 327 57 12 −230, 254 
        High 317 56 −257 −478, −37 
    Cortisol     
        Low 319 57 −206 −441, 29 
        High 320 56 −101 −331, 129 
Major life events/stress     
    Recent major losses     
        0 515 55 −73 −253, 106 
        1 or more 131 61 −420 −814, −27 
    Major life losses     
        0 287 60 −143 −390, 105 
        1 280 52 −93 −349, 163 
        2 or more 80 60 −146 −600, 308 
    Familial breast cancer risk§     
        1 282 52 −2 −250, 247 
        2 263 61 −368 −635, −102 
        3 or more 102 57 101 −298, 501 
Demographics and health     
    Age (y)     
        Under age 55 358 59 −8 −238, 222 
        55 and older 289 53 −289 −519, −59 
    Current marital partnership     
        Yes 484 57 −69 −260, 123 
        No 163 53 −290 −594, 15 
    Poor health, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes     
        No 519 55 −97 −273, 80 
        Yes 128 62 −183 −594, 227 
    Ever diagnosed with clinical depression     
        No 508 51 −87 −271, 96 
        Yes 139 76 −216 −611, 187 
Stratification factornPerceived stress
Difference in telomere length
% moderate, high, or very high stress levelβ*95% CI lower, upper
Urinary hormone levels     
    Epinephrine     
        Low 328 59 210 −23, 442 
        High 315 54 −484 −709, −259 
    Norepinephrine     
        Low 322 55 −27 −263, 208 
        High 322 58 −246 −475, −17 
    Dopamine     
        Low 327 57 12 −230, 254 
        High 317 56 −257 −478, −37 
    Cortisol     
        Low 319 57 −206 −441, 29 
        High 320 56 −101 −331, 129 
Major life events/stress     
    Recent major losses     
        0 515 55 −73 −253, 106 
        1 or more 131 61 −420 −814, −27 
    Major life losses     
        0 287 60 −143 −390, 105 
        1 280 52 −93 −349, 163 
        2 or more 80 60 −146 −600, 308 
    Familial breast cancer risk§     
        1 282 52 −2 −250, 247 
        2 263 61 −368 −635, −102 
        3 or more 102 57 101 −298, 501 
Demographics and health     
    Age (y)     
        Under age 55 358 59 −8 −238, 222 
        55 and older 289 53 −289 −519, −59 
    Current marital partnership     
        Yes 484 57 −69 −260, 123 
        No 163 53 −290 −594, 15 
    Poor health, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes     
        No 519 55 −97 −273, 80 
        Yes 128 62 −183 −594, 227 
    Ever diagnosed with clinical depression     
        No 508 51 −87 −271, 96 
        Yes 139 76 −216 −611, 187 
*

Linear regression models with telomere length as outcome for being at or above high-average levels of perceived stress; estimated β coefficient and 95% CIs corresponding to difference in bp average telomere length, adjusting for age and BMI (continuous), non-White race, and smoking history. Stratified using median cut-points for creatinine-adjusted urinary hormones.

Recent major losses, including death of parent, sister, or spouse, divorce, or separation in past 24 mo.

Life losses (premature death of first degree relative), sum of occurrences across categories, including death of a child (any age), death of parent or sibling before age 65 y.

§

Summation of primary relatives diagnosed with breast cancer + occurrences of diagnoses before age 45 in a mother, sister, or daughter.

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