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 20 May 2018

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News

Anxiety may weaken response to HBV vaccination, psychologists warn

Anxious people may fail to gain full benefit from hepatitis B vaccination, according to a psychological study.

News image

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A study of 84 volunteers found that those who were the most neurotic mounted the weakest immune response to HBV vaccination.

The findings, reported in the journal Health Psychology, demonstrated that personality traits could affect the immune system, researchers said.

The research may help explain why neurotic people often complain of being vulnerable to disease and infection, researchers said.

Blood samples were taken from volunteers, 5 months after vaccination, and tested for HBV antibodies.

As part of the study, the researchers also tested the response of the immune system to a stressful event. The volunteers were asked to give a short video-taped speech.

Weakening of the immune system after stress was most marked in volunteers who had the weakest response to HBV vaccine.
Dr Anna Marsland

The researchers found that most volunteers suffered a weakening of the immune system - but it was most marked in those who had the weakest response to the HBV vaccine.

Researcher Dr Anna Marsland, of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania, USA, said, "This study provides initial evidence that individual differences in the magnitude of stress-induced reduction of immune function may be of clinical significance."

Report Copyright: Englemed Health News at http://www.internationalmedicalnews.com

Health Psychol 2001; 20: 4-11
19 January 2001

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