Childhood events – stress – linked to worse lupus outcomes

lupus stress, lupus childhood, lupus abuse, lupus support, lupus informationHigher levels of adverse childhood experiences are associated with worse patient-reported disease activity, depression and health status in people with lupus, US experts highlight in Arthritis Care & Research.

Data from 269 people with lupus completed a questionnaire on adverse childhood experiences that included abuse, neglect and household challenges. Responses were compared to people without lupus.

Overall levels of adverse experiences during childhood were similar among both groups. Higher levels of adverse childhood experiences were associated with more lupus disease activity, depression and health status. But these experiences were not associated with disease activity, damage, or severity as measured by a doctor.

“External factors like stress have long been thought to impact systemic lupus erythematosus,” explains Dr Kimberly DeQuattro of the University of California, San Francisco. “Our results support the notion that stress in the form of adverse childhood experiences plays a role in poor health in [lupus].”

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