Key Takeaway:
This study measures cortisol levels in Latino immigrant farmworkers in Oregon and compares measures of stress against the general population. Preliminary results suggest chronic stress plays a role in health risk among the Latino immigrant population.

Cortisol, which can be measured in saliva, is the the most common biomarker in stress studies, measuring the function of the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands. Chronic psychosocial stress can lead to dysregulation of glandular function, resulting in abnormal diurnal cortisol measures. Latino populations in the US have higher incidence of health problems than their white counterparts, which may stem in part from psychosocial stresses connected to immigration. But differences in cortisol levels between the two populations haven't been studied. This study was designed to measure cortisol levels in Latino immigrant farmworkers in Oregon, and to compare measures of stress against the general population. Preliminary results suggest that chronic stress plays a role in health risk among the Latino immigrant population.

Citation

Squires, E. C., McClure, H. H., Martinez, C. R., Eddy, J. M., Jiménez, R. A., Isiordia, E. E., & Snodgrass, J. J. (2012). Diurnal cortisol rhythms among Latino immigrants in Oregon USA. Journal of Physiological Anthropology, 31(1), 19.