Stress May Kill: Stress-related Disorders Linked to Life-threatening Infections

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Stress related disorders, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), are associated with a subsequent risk of life-threatening infections, and the risk was particularly high among people diagnosed at a younger age and those with other psychiatric conditions, according to a large Swedish study.


I know how stress ruin someone’s life. An aunt of mine was diagnosed as moderate depression in her 40s after she didn’t sleep for a whole month even with sleeping pills. She recovered several years later but soon had a heart attack, which she said was due to her stress during those long and suffering years.


Luckily, more than 10 years have passed and now she’s living a nice life with few quarrels with my uncle or bad moods. She knows how to live better after recovery from that depression. But not everyone is as optimistic as her.




Stress-related disorders linked to severe infections


Stress related disorders refer to severe conditions triggered by a significant life event or trauma, like earthquake, gun shooting, and unexpected death of a loved one. Stress related disorders are not uncommon, and they are usually linked to poor mental and physical health.


Although the absolute risk of having the infections is not high, the mortality of these infections is high enough to draw attention of individuals with stress related disorders.




Evidential data


A study was carried out in Sweden. Researchers compared infection rates for near 150,000 patients diagnosed with a stress related disorder, as well as their more than 180,000 unaffected full siblings and other unaffected individuals from the general population of less than 1.5 million.


The average age of the patients was 37 years old, and the participants were monitored for an average of 8 years.


The study aimed to see how stress related disorders are linked to life threatening infections such as sepsis and meningitis.



For patients with stress related disorders, every year 2.9 persons showed new cases of life-threatening infections per 1,000 persons. For the patients’ siblings, the figure is 1.7; for other unaffected individuals, the figure was 1.3.


After adjusted the data to family history and other physical or psychiatric conditions, the result shows that patients with stress related disorders are twice likely to have all kinds of studied life-threatening infections.


This is an observational study, so we can’t establish cause or rule out the possibility that other unmeasured factors may have influenced the result.




Call for awareness


In spite of the uncertain factors, researchers point out that the findings were largely unchanged after further analyses, because of which they call for increased awareness among health professionals caring for patients with stress related disorders, especially those diagnosed at a younger age.


Physical and psychiatric health are linked together. This is a statement our ancestors said even before modern medicine appeared.


A holistic approach to research and management of stress related disorders, in partnership with patients and families, is likely the best way to help people with this common and debilitating condition, professor Jonathan Bisson said.


2 Answers

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i worked in a high stress job, couldnt tell more details.. i told myself not to think about it, but next second i pushed myself, forced me to rethink it. i was a mess and i didnt let others know. guess im a great actor

When my baby was a toddler, every time I went for biz trip, he got sick, fever, cough, etc. I couldn't think about the linkage inside. This article makes me think my baby was kidn of under pressure when he felt mommy's away from him. Nowadays he occasionally makes annoying mistakes at school, so I yelled at him. A few times after I did so, he got sick, still common infection like a cold, or a diarrhea. I might have put pressure on him by yelling at him, and that lowers his immunity. I've got to treat my baby nicer so he can grow healthier.
YOU ARE AN ANGEL! I'm 14 years old my mom yells at me everytime I make a small mistake or don't get a satisfying grade or simply go out and have fun with my buddies. Why doesn't she has the same heart as yours? Why doesn't she never feel guilty about yelling at me? I'm a kid too. Your kid is lucky to have you. I'm not that lucky.
Your mom is probably worried that you will repeat the mistakes she made at your age..she probably won't be able to to admit it,so you must remember her reaction is out of fear and love for you.Tell her you understand her concern and need her wisdom and knowledge and above all you need her unconditional love .
You are right Concerned. I had a divorced family and I live with my aunt and uncle. They have no kids. My aunt was very strict when I was young, but she would give every best thing she could get to me. Now I completed university and a post graduate degree. I thank her sincerely. She herself just finished high school and she really wanted me to be good. Hey kid, I believe your mom is the same as my aunt. Don't doubt she loves you.