Stress response system and personality in rheumatoid arthritis patients
AbstractVarious factors such as immunogenetic determinants, sex, age and stress paly an important role in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The relationship between stress and RA is still unclear and undefined; however, various lines of research are developing in order to evaluate environmental, psychologic, and biologic stressors as predisposing factors. The aim of our study was to evaluate whether stress-related psychologic factors and personality disorders might be involved in the development of RA, by using a psychometric investigation-methodology in a series of patients. Twenty-three patients underwent a clinical inteview and other specific psychometric tests. Macro and microstressful life-events preceded RA in 83% of the cases. Sixty percent of the patients showed a correlation between flare-ups of the disease and appearance of microevents. An obsessive-compulsive personality was found in 26% of the patients. Anxia was detected in 40% of the patients. Among the group of patients with borderline disorder’s was also detected alexithymia. The high prevalence of major life-events preceding the onset of RA and the presence of personality disorders support the role of the altered stress response system as an importunat pathogenetic factor in the disease.
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Copyright (c) 1970 C. Prete, F. Briano, C. Pizzorni, A. Sulli, M. Marcenaro, M. Cutolo
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