Volume 65, Issue 5 (3 2007)                   Tehran Univ Med J 2007, 65(5): 6-10 | Back to browse issues page

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Hussain khan Z, Mirazimi F, Najafizade S R, Pasha Meisami A. The effect of stress on prognosis and treatment response in 100 Rheumatoid Arthritis patients. Tehran Univ Med J. 2007; 65 (5) :6-10
URL: http://tumj.tums.ac.ir/article-1-780-en.html
Abstract:   (4509 Views)
Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease with several factors that contribute to its manifestation and continuation. One of the factors that initiate RA is emotional stress, which is in direct relationship with the sufficiency or insufficiency of the neuro-endocrine axis. Therefore, any stress that is not resolved in the neuro-endocrine axis might lead to RA and, as the stress continues, it causes the continuation of the disease. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of stress on continuation of RA and to find curative methods and, ultimately, the best method for treatment.

Methods: One hundred rheumatoid arthritic patients (80 females and 20 males), having a final diagnosis of RA based on the guidelines of the American College of Rheumatology and onset of disease within the last 12-36 months, were studied as case and control subjects. Data was collected using interviews and questionnaires that reflected their life events with stress as a serious factor in their disease. The patients were divided into two groups: group A with stable stress and group B with unstable stress. The same treatment method was given to both groups. The results of the treatment were evaluated and compared after two years of follow up.

Results: There was significant improvement in the patients in group B with unstable stress over that of the patients in group A with stable stress (P<0.0001).

Conclusion: The present study shows that a considerable number of RA patients suffer from serious stress that affects their clinical path and improvement, and is quite visible in the health indexes and continuity of the disease. The results further showed that stress can play an important role in the initiation and continuation of RA. Therefore, by identifying and making efforts to remove the stress factors using anti-anxiety drugs, the disease can be better controlled.

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