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A Life Course Approach to Women's Health$
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Diana Kuh and Rebecca Hardy

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780192632890

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192632890.001.0001

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Endocrine pathways in differential well-being across the life course

Endocrine pathways in differential well-being across the life course

(p.197) Chapter 10 Endocrine pathways in differential well-being across the life course
A Life Course Approach to Women's Health

Carol M. Worthman

Oxford University Press

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

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