NIH Research Festival
Background. Systemic rheumatic diseases (SRDs) are thought to result from multiple genetic and environmental risk factors, among which is psychosocial stress, although evidence is inconclusive.
Methods. Life events data from the NIEHS Study of Twins/Siblings Discordant for SRDs was examined in 96 Adults, 129 Young Children (YC), and 41 Teen Probands within 5 years of diagnosis of SRDs, and in unaffected same-gender, close-in-age Siblings (SIBs) and Healthy Controls (HCs). Life events within 12 months of SRD diagnosis were queried using Paykel‚Äôs Recent Life Events scale for adults and the Adolescent Perceived Event Scale for pediatric subjects. The same reference period was used for SIBs/HCs. Logistic regression analysis, adjusting for demographics, disease duration and smoking, was performed to identify predictors of SRD diagnosis.
Results. In adults, the number of Total, Uncontrollable, Undesirable, and Highly Stressful life events was higher in Probands compared to HCs (P‚â§0.001‚Äì0.05). From logistic regression, the number of Total, Major, Uncontrollable, Undesirable, and Highly Stressful life events and their stress ratings were associated with an increased odds of SRD diagnosis in adult Probands vs. HCs (OR 1.22‚Äì2.03, P‚â§0.05). The number of Total, Major Negative, and Major Total events were protective for SRD diagnosis in YC/Teens combined (OR 0.69‚Äì0.96, P‚â§0.05), while higher undesirable ratings for Major Negative life events were associated with SRD (OR 2.25, P=0.04).
Conclusion. This study suggests negative life events and their stress perceptions are associated with greater odds for SRD in adults, with a more nuanced relationship in pediatrics.
Scientific Focus Area: Clinical Research
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