Certain anxiety and stress-related disorders (including panic disorder, stress/adjustment disorders, and generalised anxiety disorder) may be associated with high levels of inflammation, as measured by C-reactive protein (CRP).
However, these associations were diminished after adjusting for health-related factors including multimorbidity, body mass index (BMI), and depressive symptoms.
Why this matters
Findings warrant further large birth cohorts, Mendelian randomisation, and experimental studies to determine the potential causal associations and underlying mechanisms between anxiety and stress-related disorders and CRP.
The study included 353,136 participants (age, 40-70 years), identified from the UK Biobank (2006-2010).
The association of different anxiety/stress-related disorders with inflammation measured by CRP was evaluated.
Of 353,136 participants, 12,759 (3.61%) had a history of anxiety or stress-related disorders.
The other anxiety disorders group was more likely to have a CRP of >3 mg/L (adjusted OR [aOR] 1.164; 95% CI 1.096 to 1.236; P<0.001), but this association was attenuated after adjustment for BMI, multimorbidity, and depressive symptoms.
The stress/adjustment disorders group was more likely to have a CRP of >3 mg/L (aOR 1.107; 95% CI 1.040 to 1.178; P<0.01), but this association was attenuated after adjustment for BMI, multimorbidity, and depressive symptoms.
Phobic anxiety disorders (aOR 1.059; 95% CI 0.896 to 1.251) and obsessive-compulsive disorders (aOR 1.299; 95% CI 0.973 to 1.733) showed no statistically significant association with CRP.
Study evaluated only the inflammatory marker CRP because of its good availability within large population-based cohort studies and clinical relevance.
Kennedy E, Niedzwiedz CL. The association of anxiety and stress-related disorders with C-reactive protein (CRP) within UK Biobank. Brain Behav Immun Health. 2021;19:100410. doi: 10.1016/j.bbih.2021.100410. PMID: 35028602 View abstract.
© 2022 WebMD, LLC
Any views expressed above are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of WebMD or Medscape.
Cite this: Pavankumar Kamat. Some Anxiety and Stress-related Disorders Linked to High Levels of Inflammation - Medscape - Jan 24, 2022.