Health Effects of a Long-Term Stay in a Spa Resort

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The authors examined periodic changes in endocrinological stress markers in saliva samples collected from 31 women who spent 8 days in a spa resort. Levels of salivary cortisol and chromogranin A (CgA) were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. To evaluate health-related lifestyle factors, patterns of behavior, perceived stressors, and stress reactions of the subjects, the authors administered written questionnaires. Individuals who scored poorly on an index evaluating lifestyle health factors, or reported stressful life events, showed a significant increase in CgA levels during the stay. This suggests that, for these people, the long stay in the spa ameliorated stress. These findings are somewhat different from those of studies in which researchers have evaluated the effects of shorter-term leisure trips.

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