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PTSD Linked with Increased Lupus Risk

In a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in civilian women were strongly associated with increased risk of developing lupus, an autoimmune disease.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 12:01 am EDT
"We were surprised that exposure to trauma was so strongly associated with risk of lupus—trauma was a stronger predictor of developing lupus than smoking"

In a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in civilian women were strongly associated with increased risk of developing lupus, an autoimmune disease.

In the study of 54,763 women, investigators found a nearly three-fold elevated risk of lupus among women with probable PTSD and more than two-fold higher risk of lupus among women who had experienced any traumatic event compared with women not exposed to trauma.

The findings contribute to growing evidence that psychosocial trauma and associated stress responses may lead to autoimmune disease.

“We were surprised that exposure to trauma was so strongly associated with risk of lupus—trauma was a stronger predictor of developing lupus than smoking,” said Dr. Andrea Roberts, lead author of the study. Our results add to considerable scientific evidence that our mental health substantially affects our physical health, making access to mental health care even more urgent.”

Lupus Awareness Month takes place during October in the UK every year.


Additional Information

Link to Study: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/art.40222

About Journal

Arthritis & Rheumatology, an official journal of the American College of Rheumatology, is a peer-reviewed publication for scientists and clinicians interested in the natural history, pathophysiology, treatment, and outcome of the rheumatic diseases. Arthritis & Rheumatology publishes the highest quality basic and clinical research related to the rheumatic diseases, encompassing a wide range of areas of investigative activity. In addition, the journal publishes review articles, editorials, and other educational material intended for both researchers and clinicians. Serving the worldwide community of rheumatology investigators and clinicians, Arthritis & Rheumatology is known internationally as a top rheumatology research journal.

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