Caregiving, an important component of cancer patient treatment, may set forth a cascade of stress responses such as sympatho-adrenal activation, immuno-humoral changes and an unhealthy lifestyle, which could be hazardous to caregivers' health. In this observational study, we addressed whether autonomic nervous system (ANS) regulation and perception of stress would be altered in a group of 58 health cancer caregivers as compared to 60 controls. We employed non invasive autoregressive spectral analysis of cardiovascular variabilities and ad hoc questionnaires. Caregivers show, in addition to signs of psychological involvement, a clear autonomic imbalance, suggestive of sympathetic predominance at rest and of a reduction of vagal cardiac regulation (overall gain of baroreflex -index alpha- was respectively of 17.5+/-1.5 versus 25.1+/-1.8 msec/mmHg, p<<0.02). These data suggest possible preventive strategies, based on tailored treatments aiming at a betterment of individual autonomic profile.
|Numero di pagine||7|
|Rivista||European Journal of Cancer|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2008|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research