Stress, the Immune System and Healthy Ageing.

Anna Whittaker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

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With ageing, the immune system does not function as well as it did earlier in life, leaving individuals open to a range of diseases including infections. Negative psychological factors such as stress and depression can worsen immunity, and in some cases, this is particularly the case among older adults. However, there are also positive psychological factors that have been shown to relate to positive immune and health outcomes. This chapter will outline the links between psychological and behavioural factors and the immune system, particularly in the context of ageing. It will focus on key positive and negative psychological factors that can boost or be detrimental to our immunity, and briefly touch on the mechanisms by which these factors influence immunity and health in later life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychologies of Ageing.
Subtitle of host publicationTheory, Research and Practice
EditorsElizabeth Peel, Carol Holland, Michael Murray
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)9783319970349
ISBN (Print)9783319970332
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2018


  • ageing
  • bereavement
  • caregiving
  • cortisol:DHEAS ratio
  • immunity
  • life events
  • neutrophils
  • social support
  • stress
  • vaccination


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