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“Negative” Childhood Events Connected To More Active Lupus

RM Lupus

A new study reveals that those lupus sufferers who had a hard childhood have increased disease activity, poorer overall health, as well as worse depression, versus those with a better childhood upbringing.

A difficult childhood can be defined as experiences of neglect, abuse, and challenges within the household.

The research had close to 270 lupus patients who lived in California as part of the study, with approximately 63 percent reporting a minimum of one kind of difficult childhood experience, with about 19 percent reporting a minimum of four. Rates within lupus sufferers resembled those of the general population.

Terrible childhood events were common for lupus patients who were older, black or Hispanic, female, did not receive a college diploma, and suffered from kidney inflammation due to lupus (lupus nephritis).

The results were self-reported, and the more the bad childhood experiences were, the worse of a patient’s lupus activity was; as well as overall health and depression. A fine example of this was that those participants with over four bad childhood events stated close to double the lupus activity scores, versus those with no negative experiences in childhood.

Dr. Kimberly DeQuattro, lead author, chimed in on the study stating that the findings support the idea that stress, in the form of bad experiencing during childhood, can offer a factor when it comes to poor health in lupus; both in the development of the illness and in other and more severe outcomes. She called for a bigger effort when it comes to preventing neglect and abuse during those tender childhood years.

An autoimmune condition, Web MD reports that lupus develops when the body’s immune system attacks tissues, which results in widespread inflammation, as well as damaged organs. While environment and genetics play a role in the disease, stress seems to be a possible trigger of lupus flares and onset that can lead to chronic disability.