Endocrine pathways in differential well-being across the life course

Carol M. Worthman

in A Life Course Approach to Women's Health

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780192632890
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191723629 | DOI:

Series: Life Course Approach to Adult Health

Endocrine pathways in differential well-being across the life course

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This chapter provides a survey of endocrine axes (gonadal, adrenal, thyroid, adiposal) to show how mediating pathways operate. Hormones are central agents in the pathways to differential well-being: they regulate virtually every aspect of function, from gestation onwards. Integrated endocrine action also allocates limited resources (energy, materials, time) between the competing demands of living. Such demands range from the immediate necessities for survival, to the life course projects of growing up, reproducing, producing, and being social. This last demand strongly engages the physiological systems responsible for health maintenance because for humans, social context and human relationships are crucial to well-being.

Keywords: endocrine axes; hormones; well-being; women's health; differential well-being; growing up

Chapter.  17002 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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