We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......

Price of Adaptation—Allostatic Load and Its Health Consequences MacArthur Studies of Successful Aging

Teresa E. Seeman, PhD; Burton H. Singer, PhD; John W. Rowe, MD; Ralph I. Horwitz, MD; Bruce S. McEwen, PhD
Arch Intern Med. 1997;157(19):2259-2268. doi:10.1001/archinte.1997.00440400111013.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Background:  Exponential growth in the population of older adults presents clinicians with special concerns about factors affecting risks for declines in cognitive and physical functioning.

Objectives:  To examine the hypothesis that risks for such declines and for disease outcomes, such as cardiovascular disease, are related to differences in allostatic load, the cumulative physiologic toll exacted on the body over time by efforts to adapt to life experiences. To present an operational definition of allostatic load, along with preliminary evidence of its predictive validity in relation to salient outcomes of aging.

Methods:  Data from a longitudinal, community-based study of successful aging were used to develop a measure of allostatic load based on 10 parameters reflecting levels of physiologic activity across a range of important regulatory systems. Allostatic load is the sum of the number of parameters for which the subject was rated in the highest-risk quartile.

Results:  Higher allostatic load scores were associated with poorer cognitive and physical functioning and predicted larger decrements in cognitive and physical functioning as well as being associated with an increased risk for the incidence of cardiovascular disease, independent of sociodemographic and health status risk factors.

Conclusions:  Findings are consistent with the conceptualization of allostatic load as an index of wear and tear on the body, with elevations in allostatic load predicting an increased risk for a decline in cognitive and physical functioning as well as cardiovascular disease in a cohort of older men and women. From a clinical perspective, the concept of allostatic load may provide the basis for a more comprehensive assessment of major risks in the aging process.Arch Intern Med. 1997;157:2259-2268


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Submit a Comment


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

343 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.