Stressful events are followed by slightly increased spondyloarthritis disease activity, as assessed by BASDAI variation.
Stressful life events that are abrupt and unexpected bear the most important effect, even more if the event is rated as highly distressing.
The magnitude of variation of the BASDAI following stressful events was rather mild at the population level, but could be more important at the patient level.
The contribution of environmental factors to spondyloarthritis (SpA) course remains poorly characterized. We previously reported a possible triggering of disease flares by stressful life events and vaccination. The objective of the present study was to specify the types of vaccine and life event that may influence disease activity.
A prospective cohort of adult SpA was followed for two years. Patients logged on to a secured website every month to complete a standardized auto-questionnaire. They reported whether they had been exposed to stressful life events, vaccinations or other environmental factors. Patients were asked to rate the distress resulting from exposure to life events on a numerical rating scale (NRS: 0–10). Primary outcome variable was the variation of Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) measured on two consecutive connections. Months where an event occurred were compared to months without events. The cut-off value of 1 is defined as the minimal clinically important variation for the BASDAI.
The 272 enrolled SpA patients returned 3,388 questionnaires. Months where an abrupt and unexpected traumatic event occurred were associated with a significant increase of BASDAI of 0.57 [95%CI: 0.29; 0.85] (P<0.001). The higher the rating of distress, the larger the impact on BASDAI, reaching a clinically meaningful increase of 0.99 [0.17; 1.82] for a VNS≥9. The effect of stressful events on BASDAI persisted during a median of 3 months. No other environmental factor was significantly associated with BASDAI variations.
Among stressful life events, abrupt and unexpected events were associated with transient worsening of disease activity in SpA, which reached a clinically meaningful increase for the highest rating of distress. Association between vaccines and disease flare was not confirmed.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Spondyloarthritis, Epidemiology, Disease activity, Life change events
Vol 86 - N° 2P. 203-209 - mars 2019 Retour au numéro
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