Abstract # 183:

Scheduled for Friday, June 19, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


ASSESSING STRESS IN WESTERN LOWLAND GORILLAS (GORILLA GORILLA GORILLA) IN HUMAN CARE USING ALLOSTATIC LOAD

A. N. Edes1, B. A. Wolfe1,2 and D. E. Crews1
1The Ohio State University, Department of Anthropology, 4005 Smith Laboratory, 174 West 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA, 2Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
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     Lifetime stress contributes to humans and nonhuman primates (NHP) developing chronic degenerative diseases. Allostatic load (AL) in humans measures cumulative stress and predicts future health outcomes. AL incorporates multiple biomarkers to determine a composite score reflecting current and future health. We propose AL will identify potential drivers of compromised health and thereby decreased longevity among NHP. We obtained data from gorillas (n=27) housed at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium between 1956 and 2014. As in humans, AL was predicted to associate with age, lifetime stress events, and age at death, while having a negative relationship with general health. Biomarker values were obtained noninvasively using medical records and banked serum assays. Stress events (defined as agonistic interactions with wounding, zoo transfers, and immobilizations) were transcribed from keeper records. We developed four exploratory iterations using linear regressions and propose Model 4 AL best identifies stress events and best predicts future outcomes in this sample. At ?=0.05, sex (p=<0.006) and stress events (p=0.040) significantly associate with AL in our sample, while age approaches significance (p=0.054). Using cholesterol, triglycerides, and creatinine as general indicators of health, AL significantly associates with creatinine (p=0.042) and triglycerides (p=0.041), and approaches significance for cholesterol (p=0.077). AL and age at death are not associated (n=11, p=0.169). This research develops a possible path for better understanding long-term consequences of stress on NHP health.