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Article Summaries for February–March 2020 Psychosomatic Medicine, Volume 82, Issue 2

doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000780
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One of the most prevalent chronic inflammatory conditions is periodontal disease (PD). Because PD is more common in individuals with lower incomes and education, Gomaa et al. examined the extent to which pro-inflammatory oral immunity contributes to the socioeconomic position (SEP) gradient in PD. They also determined the role of psychosocial stress and stress-related hormones to these relationships. Individuals in middle- and higher-income categories had a significantly lower probability of PD and were less likely to have a pro-inflammatory oral immune function than individuals with a lower SEP. The findings suggest that psychosocial stress may contribute to a pro-inflammatory immunity that is implicated in PD pathobiology.

Pages 126–137;

Swanepoel et al. examined the mediating role of psychological resilience and vulnerability between adverse life events and multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms. Adverse life events during the preceding 60 days were associated with fatigue, motor dysfunction, and paresthesia. In general, resilience mediated fewer MS symptoms, while vulnerability mediated more MS symptoms.

Pages 138–146;

In an epidemiological study of women veterans from the Vietnam era, Smith et al. investigated the impact of wartime stress exposures and salient stress-related mental health conditions on later-life functioning and disability. Several wartime exposures—including job-related pressures and, especially, sexual discrimination and harassment—were found to be associated with poorer functioning and increased disability more than four decades later. Posttraumatic stress disorder, major depression, and generalized anxiety disorder were also found to be associated with these outcomes.

Pages 147–157;

Despite the high prevalence of depression and anxiety in late life, their joint role in the disablement process remains unclear. In a study of participants who at baseline reported no limitations in self-care and mobility activities, Dong et al. examined the association of disability onset in older adults with comorbid-occurring depression and anxiety across the full spectrum of symptom severity. Findings indicate that depression and anxiety symptoms, regardless of severity, are associated with increased risk for disability in late life.

Pages 158–164;

Mounting evidence suggests that higher levels of optimism are associated with reduced risk of age-related morbidities and premature mortality. Kim et al. tested the hypothesis that higher optimism is associated with longer leukocyte telomere length. Their findings do not support mean telomere length as a mechanism that explains observed relations of optimism with reduced risk of chronic disease in older adults.

Pages 165–171;

Depression is associated with dysfunctional autonomic cardiac modulation. Saad et al. assessed depression-related autonomic abnormalities indexed by heart rate variability across wake and sleep states. Results showed that abnormalities in autonomic activity associated with depression were more prominent during sleep, especially non-REM sleep, than during wake times. This may point to abnormalities in parasympathetic regulation during sleep, possibly contributing to the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in individuals with depression.

Pages 172–180;

Madhu et al. investigated the association of serum copeptin levels, a surrogate marker of arginine-vasopressin (AVP) secretion, with sense of coherence, a global measure of stress-coping ability, in individuals with normal and abnormal glucose tolerance. Study participants with newly detected diabetes mellitus displayed higher serum copeptin levels and lower sense of coherence, which inversely correlated with each other. These findings suggest that sense of coherence–related reduction in diabetes risk is associated with activation of AVP pathways.

Pages 181–186;

Parents make medical decisions for their children based on symptoms they perceive their child to be experiencing. Smith et al. systematically reviewed the literature to identify parent and child psychological factors associated with parental report of physical symptoms in the child. Parental report of physical symptoms was associated with parent and child affect (particularly anxiety); child behavioral and conduct problems; and parental expectations of symptoms.

Pages 187–196;

Fang et al. examined the association between social isolation, depression, and subsequent recurrence of peptic ulcer disease (PUD) in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Social isolation was associated with PUD recurrence over the 36-month observation. However, social isolation did not increase PUD recurrence risk in participants without depression or with reduced depression. In participants with unchanged or increased depression, PUD recurrence was more likely in socially isolated than in socially engaged participants.

Pages 197–207;

Yu et al. examined whether social isolation and loneliness are associated with increased risk of mortality in individuals with established cardiovascular disease (CVD). They found that social isolation, a loss of connection to other individuals and social organizations, was associated with increased risk of mortality after accounting for established risk factors. Loneliness was not associated with increased risk of mortality. Efforts to reduce social isolation may lower mortality risk in patients with CVD.

Pages 208–214;

Urbanization, which has expanded rapidly in recent decades, is associated with some health improvements, but it may also increase the rates of certain diseases and emotions such as anger that may be associated with illness. In a prospective study, Tezuka et al. found that among urban residents, anger expression was positively associated with risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Pages 215–223;

Little is known about the association of socioeconomic status (SES) mobility with inflammation. Surachman et al. formed latent classes of SES mobility from multidimensional indicators of objective and subjective SES across the life course to test association with inflammation markers. SES mobility was associated with inflammation in white adults but not in black adults. The lack of SES mobility differentiation in inflammation for the most affluent class among black participants is a potential indication of diminished returns in that group.

Pages 224–233;

African Americans experience disproportionate discrimination and depressive symptoms. Beatty Moody et al. found that a greater overall lifetime burden of discrimination and frequent discrimination related to specific social status were related to thicker carotid intimal-medial thickness, a subclinical indicator of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Intervention efforts aimed at African Americans should consider the interactive nature of these psychosocial factors as important risk factors for CVD.

Pages 234–246;

The genetic overlap between type 2 diabetes and depression has revealed inconsistent results in twin studies conducted in industrialized countries. In a Sri Lankan population, Kan et al. found that the phenotypic correlation between type 2 diabetes and depression was significant in women only. This association was primarily attributable to a significant genetic correlation between the traits.

Pages 247–253;

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