Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 9–18

The Influence of Perceived Stress on the Onset of Arthritis in Women: Findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health

Authors

    • Priority Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, Faculty of HealthUniversity of Newcastle
  • Deborah Loxton
    • Priority Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, Faculty of HealthUniversity of Newcastle
  • David W. Sibbritt
    • Priority Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, Faculty of HealthUniversity of Newcastle
    • Faculty of HealthUniversity of Technology Sydney
  • Julie E. Byles
    • Priority Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, Faculty of HealthUniversity of Newcastle
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12160-013-9478-6

Cite this article as:
Harris, M.L., Loxton, D., Sibbritt, D.W. et al. ann. behav. med. (2013) 46: 9. doi:10.1007/s12160-013-9478-6

Abstract

Background

Psychosocial factors are considered as risk factors for some chronic diseases. A paucity of research exists surrounding the role of perceived stress in arthritis onset.

Purpose

Perceived stress as a risk factor for arthritis development was explored in an ageing cohort of Australian women.

Methods

This study focused on 12,202 women from the 1946–1951 cohort who completed the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health surveys in 2001, 2004 and 2007. Longitudinal associations were modelled, with and without a time lag.

Results

Findings from the multivariate time lag modelling, excluding women with persistent joint pain, revealed that perceived stress predicted the onset of arthritis, with women experiencing minimal and moderate/high stress levels having a 1.7 and 2.4 times greater odds of developing arthritis 3 years later, respectively (p’s < 0.001).

Conclusion

Chronically perceiving life as stressful is detrimental to future health. The findings provide support for perceived stress to be considered alongside other modifiable risk factors.

Keywords

ArthritisPerceived stressRisk factorWomen

Supplementary material

12160_2013_9478_MOESM1_ESM.docx (57 kb)
ESM 1(DOCX 56.5 kb)

Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2013