BACKGROUND: Prolonged psychosocial stress is a condition assessed through self-reports. Here we aimed to identify biochemical markers for screening and early intervention in women. METHODS: Plasma concentrations of interleukin (IL) 1-alpha, IL1-beta, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, interferon-gamma (INF-gamma), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), epidermal growth factor (EGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), total tri-iodothyronine (TT3), total thyroxine (TT4), prolactin, and testosterone were measured in: 195 women on long-term sick-leave for a stress-related affective disorder, 45 women at risk for professional burnout, and 84 healthy women. RESULTS: We found significantly increased levels of MCP-1, VEGF and EGF in women exposed to prolonged psychosocial stress. Statistical analysis indicates that they independently associate with a significant risk for being classified as ill. CONCLUSIONS: MCP-1, EGF, and VEGF are potential markers for screening and early intervention in women under prolonged psychosocial stress.
2009. Vol. 4, no 1, e3590- p.