About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Exposure To Disasters Can Increase Inflammation in People With Depression

by Julia Samuel on October 24, 2017 at 11:45 AM
Font : A-A+

Exposure To Disasters Can Increase Inflammation in People With Depression

Immune markers such as C-reactive protein, Tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 and Interleukin 6 were elevated after a disaster in those who had minor symptoms of depression.

People who exhibit even a few depressive symptoms before a major life stressor, such as a disaster, may experience an increase in inflammation, a major risk factor for heart disease and other negative health conditions after the event, according to new research from Rice University.

Advertisement


The findings have important implications for survivors of crisis situations, according to Chris Fagundes, an assistant professor of psychology at Rice and one of the study's authors.

Disasters Can Elevate Inflammatory Markers

The study followed 124 people (38 males and 86 females, including whites, Hispanics and African-Americans) who lived in Texas City, Texas, before and after a petrochemical refinery in the city exploded March 23, 2005. The explosion killed 15 workers, injured more than 170 others and shook buildings as far as 10 miles away.
Advertisement

The researchers found that after the disaster, study participants who beforehand exhibited even minor depressive symptoms (such as a feeling of fatigue or sadness) and identified concern for their physical health had a 75 percent increase in their blood of C-reactive protein, Tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 and Interleukin 6, all of which are immune markers that signal inflammation in the body. Participants who did not display depressive symptoms or identify concern for their physical health beforehand saw no increase in the immune markers after the disaster.

"We found that people who are slightly depressed and stressed out about their health risks prior to a disaster had a negative response to the actual disaster in the form of these immune markers showing up in their bloodstream," Fagundes said.

"If you're already above the baseline for mental and physical health, your immune system is primed to have a much more dramatic effect. This could explain other researchers' findings demonstrating increased cardiovascular events (any event that can damage the heart muscle) following natural disasters."

Before the explosion, participants had completed the Concern About Petrochemical Health Risk Scale, a four-item measure of one's subjective risk of health problems due to living near a petrochemical plant.

The four items focused on concerns of health risks stemming from pollution, accidents, stored waste and generally living near oil and chemical industries. Participants indicated their degree of concern for each item on a scale ranging from 1 (not at all concerned) to 5 (extremely concerned).

Also before the explosion, participants completed a 20-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale survey and indicated symptoms of depression they had experienced during the previous two weeks on a scale ranging from 0 (rarely) to 3 (most or all of the time). Collection of follow-up information took place between May and August 2005 (two to six months after the explosion). Participants also gave samples of their blood both before and after the explosion.

The pre-disaster data used in this study was initially being collected for another study, Fagundes said. The researchers put together the resources to implement a study after the disaster to assess changes, which is similar to what Fagundes is doing now following Hurricane Harvey.

Fagundes said the study is especially timely following Hurricane Harvey in Houston. "It is certainly possible that we will see these same health patterns in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey," he said.

Fagundes hopes the study will encourage future work focusing on exposure to disasters and the related negative mental and physical health outcomes.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Adolescence Depression Depression Stress Relief Through Alternative Medicine Andropause / Male Menopause Pregnancy and Complications Holistic Management for Depression Tourette Syndrome Dealing with Menopause symptoms through lifestyle changes Tired All The Time Placebo Effects: Rare Insights 

Recommended Reading
Depression
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders affecting approximately 340 million people in ...
Depression Symptom Evaluation
Depression occurs due to alterations in the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. ...
How to Handle Depression and Stress while Going Through a Divorce?
Divorce or breakup can be stressful and cause anxiety, depression and panic. Simple ways can help .....
Clinical Depression
Clinical Depression is a serious medical condition that affects majority of people at some point in ...
Andropause / Male Menopause
Andropause or male menopause causing low libido in a man is due to decreasing level of male hormones...
Dealing with Menopause symptoms through lifestyle changes
You can deal with menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, weight gain and forgetfulness by making si...
Holistic Management for Depression
Depression is a common disorder and many worldwide suffer from depression. Early recognition of symp...
Placebo Effects: Rare Insights
Placebo response is now generally well accepted. ‘Placebo response’ is the friend of the clinician a...
Pregnancy and Complications
In-depth guide for expecting mothers to overcome health complications related to early or late pregn...
Tired All The Time
Tired All The Time (TATT) syndrome is not only about feeling of tired, however there are a host of o...
Tourette Syndrome
Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder wherein the affected person makes repetitive and s...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use