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March 1956

Studies on Adrenocortical and Psychological Response to Stress in man

Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and the Department of Medicine, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital; present address: Medical College of Alabama and Veterans Administration Hospital, Birmingham, Ala. (Dr. Hill).

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1956;97(3):269-298. doi:10.1001/archinte.1956.00250210015002


  • Methods

    • Metabolic

    • Statistical

    • Psychologic

  • Metabolic Observations

    • Eosinophile level

    • Urinary total 17-hydroxycorticoid excretion

    • Urinary 17-ketosteroid excretion

    • Uropepsin excretion

    • Correlations between 17-hydroxycorticoids, 17-ketosteroids, and uropepsin values

    • Complementary studies

      • Long-distance running

      • Studies on 17-hydroxycorticoid excretion in sweat

      • "Utilization" studies

  • Metabolic Interpretations

    • Adrenocortical secretory response to the race "Increased utilization"

    • Eosinophile levels and 17-hydroxycorticoid excretion

    • Physical exercise vs. psychological stress

  • Psychological Observations

    • Group Rorschach

    • Thematic Apperception Test

    • Personal interviews

  • Psychological Interpretation

    • Summary of psychological findings on the crew

    • Supplementary studies of psychologic stress and adrenal cortical activation

  • Metabolic and Psychological Correlation

  • Conclusions

  • References

INTRODUCTION  Evaluation of the role of the adrenal cortex in the response of man to stressful situations continues to be a problem of major interest to medical investigators. Earlier studies suggested that the adrenal cortex responds actively and promptly to many, but not all, psychic and physical stresses.1 In many of the studies, changes in the level of circulating

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