Correlation of Telomere Length and Serotonin Levels with Job Stress and Locus of Control Type among Nurses at a Private Hospital in Gianyar, Indonesia
Objectives. Telomere length and its relationship to job stress among workers in the health sector in Indonesia, especially in Bali, have never been studied. The purpose of the study was to analyze the correlation of the telomere length and serotonin levels to job stress and the type of locus of control (LOC) among nurses who were running shift work.
Method. This analytical cross-sectional study was conducted from April to November 2018 among 68 nurses who were running shift work at a private hospital in Gianyar. The telomere length was measured with the absolute telomere length (aTL) using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technique. Locus of control (LOC) was assessed using the IPC-LOC questionnaire. Serotonin level was measured by the immunoassay technique. Job stress was measured using the BJSQ. Data analysis was conducted with Chi-squared test, correlation test, and independent sample t-test.
Results. There was a significant correlation of job stress with telomere length (p = 0.03). Nurses with job stress faced a 2.9 times risk of short telomere (prevalence ratio, PR = 2.95, 95% CI 1.02, 7.91). The mean telomere length was 17.32 ± 7.80 in nurses who experienced job stress vs. 22.45 ± 8.41 in nurses who did not experience job stress. Comparing with a previous study done by to O’Callaghan et al., in the young group, the mean aTL was 97.2 kb/diploid genome (range 35-260). We also found a significant correlation of job stress score with serotonin level (p = 0.02). The serotonin level among nurses with LOC-e type was lower than LOC-i.
Conclusion. There was a significant correlation between job stress and telomere length, where nurses who experienced job stress had a shorter telomere than those who did not experience job stress. There was also a significant correlation between job stress and serotonin levels, where the mean of serotonin levels in nurses with LOC-e type was lower than LOC-i.