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Whitehall Psychobiology Study

The Whitehall Psychobiology study was carried out with a subsample of the Whitehall II cohort. It tested the hypothesis that socioeconomic status (indexed by grade of employment) is related to variations in psychobiological responses monitored in the laboratory and in naturalistic settings. The study involved 240 men and women drawn from different grades within the civil service. These volunteers underwent a laboratory session, with measurement of cardiovascular and other biological variables before, during and after performance of challenging behavioural tasks. They also carried out ambulatory monitoring of blood pressure over a working day, and saliva sampling of cortisol over one working and one leisure day. The primary data collection phase and a 3-year follow-up have been completed.

This study was funded through a programme grant from the Medical Research Council to Professors Andrew Steptoe and Sir Michael Marmot. Collaborators on this study included groups in the Department of Medicine at UCL (Dr Vidya Mohamed-Ali), the Eastman Dental Institute (Professor Brian Henderson), the University of Glasgow (Professor Gordon Lowe and Dr Ann Rumley), and the University of Dresden (Professor Clemens Kirschbaum).

People involved in this study included Sabine Kunz-Ebrecht, Natalie Owen, Pamela Feldman, Bev Murray, Lindsey Emmerson, Elizabeth Cort and Lena Brydon. Data analysis is continuing. So far, the study has generated 35 peer-reviewed papers and chapters.

Page last modified on 05 may 09 16:08