Research project to measure 'effect of pandemic on new coronavirus infection' from hair

Professor Elizabeth Broadbent Health Psychology

University of Auckland collaborates with University of Nottingham and King's College London to study pandemic effects of a novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) by analyzing hair We are promoting.

Coronavirus: Impact of Covid-19 pandemic tracked through hair |

Professor Broadbent's research theme is 'stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.' “Our landscape is changing, with great uncertainty and stress. The potential impact of a pandemic on stress is that it has reached levels and scales we have never seen before. It's possible that people will have a higher level of anxiety, depression, and stress than is typical, 'says Broadbent.

In a research project conducted by Professor Broadbent, hair was collected from subjects several times. Then, analyze the content of cortisol in the hair.

Cortisol is a hormone secreted from the

adrenal cortex , which plays an important role in metabolism such as regulation of sugar utilization and blood pressure regulation. Cortisol is also attracting attention as a biomarker of stress because it increases the amount of secretion when stress is felt.

Cortisol concentration is generally measured from blood or saliva, but in the case of blood, the problem that 'blood sampling itself causes stress' is a problem, and in the case of saliva, 'the effect of eating and drinking immediately before There is a problem that 'it is easily received.' Therefore, a method to quantify stress from cortisol contained in hair and nails has been adopted in recent years .

In addition, Professor Broadbent's research not only collects hair, but also examines demographic factors such as the age, sex, and ethnicity of the subject. It will also collect information on employment status, virus exposure level, and whether it is an essential worker that supports social infrastructure such as medical care and transportation.

Professor Broadbent commented that the results of this study would help address future health crises. 'Once we know how the COVID-19 pandemic affects people both psychologically and physically, how should we plan to help people when similar things happen again?' I understand. '

The subjects are New Zealanders over the age of 18 and will collect samples and questionnaire responses from more than 1000 people. It seems that the research data will be compared with the British data.

in Science, Posted by log1i_yk