Childhood traumas may worsen lupus symptoms: Study

Traumas such as abuse, neglect and other Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) can worsen symptoms of lupus and lead to organ damage, depression and declining health status, claims a new study.

Lupus is a skin condition marked by inflammation.

According to a study by Arthritis Care & Research, adults with lupus, higher ACE levels, as well as the presence of ACEs from each of the three domains – abuse, neglect and household challenges- were associated with worst patient-reported accounts of suffering from organ damage, depression, physical function and overall bad health status.

In the study involving 269 patients, over 60 per cent identified at least one adverse childhood experience, and more than 15 per cent indicated at least four adverse childhood experiences.

“More than half of the participants with lupus reported ACE exposure, many of whom experienced substantial trauma in childhood. There is a clear difference in patient-reported outcomes with cumulative ACE exposure in these individuals,” said lead author Dr Kimberly DeQuattro.

“This work in lupus supports more broadly the body of studies on adversity and trauma in childhood that has found a link between ACEs and health. It is a call to action to focus efforts on ACE prevention in childhood as well as clinical and mental health interventions that foster resilience in adulthood,” DeQuattro said.

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First Published:
May 10, 2019 10:52 IST

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