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23 Nov 2017
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Trauma exposure, PTSD in women may lead to autoimmune disease

10 Oct 2017

Women with trauma exposure or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have a more than twofold risk of developing systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a study suggests.

The longitudinal study included 54,763 women who completed the Short Screening Scale for DSM-IV PTSD and the Brief Trauma Questionnaire. These women were categorized as follows: no trauma, trauma and no PTSD symptoms, subclinical PTSD (one to three symptoms), or probable PTSD (four to seven symptoms).

Incident SLE with ≥4 American College of Rheumatology criteria was self-reported, with subsequent confirmation by medical record review. Longitudinally assessed health risk factors (eg, smoking, body mass index [BMI], oral contraceptive use) were also examined whether they accounted for increased SLE risk among women with vs without trauma exposure and PTSD.

During 24 years of follow-up, 73 women developed SLE. Compared with no trauma, probable PTSD increased SLE risk by nearly threefold (hazard ratio [HR], 2.94; 95 percent CI, 1.19 to 7.26; p<0.05). Subclinical PTSD also increased SLE risk, although this association was not statistically significant (HR, 1.83; 0.74 to 4.56; p=0.19).

Smoking, BMI and oral contraceptive use slightly attenuated the observed associations (eg, probable PTSD: adjusted HR, 2.62; 1.09 to 6.48; p<0.05).

Regardless of PTSD symptoms, trauma exposure showed a strong association with incident SLE (HR, 2.87; 1.31 to 6.28; p<0.01).

The present data add to growing evidence that psychosocial trauma and associated stress responses lead to autoimmune disease, researchers said.

“Identification of the biological pathways by which psychosocial trauma may increase risk for autoimmune disease is crucial and may provide greater insight into disease aetiology, as well as strategies for prevention. In addition, identification of mechanisms by which trauma and PTSD are associated with increased risk of SLE may indicate mechanisms for the association of PTSD and trauma exposure with other chronic diseases,” they added.

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Most Read Articles
23 Nov 2017
In patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who are also positive for anticitrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA), tocilizumab (TCZ) treatment for 2 years increases femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD) and decreases concentrations of bone resorption markers, a recent study has found.
12 Nov 2017
Tocilizumab may improve skin score and forced vital capacity stabilization in patients with systemic sclerosis, while potentially increasing the risk of serious infections, according to the open-label data of the faSScinate* trial.
Audrey Abella, 21 Nov 2017
The infliximab (IFX) biosimilar SB2, whether administered long-term or switched from IFX, had comparable efficacy and safety as IFX for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a study has found.
30 Nov 2017
There are significant associations between comorbidities and hand osteoarthritis (OA) disease burden, a recent study has found.