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CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2017 Apr 7. doi: 10.2174/1871527316666170407151514. [Epub ahead of print]

Elevated C-reactive protein levels in women with bipolar disorder may be explained by a history of childhood trauma, especially sexual abuse, body mass index, and age.

Author information

1
Health Sciences Graduate Program, Health Sciences Center, State University of Londrina, Av. Robert Koch, 60 ; ZIP: 86035-380 - Londrina - Paraná . Brazil.
2
, Affilation: IMPACT Strategic Research Centre, School of Medicine, Deakin University. Australia.
3
Department of Clinical and Toxicological Analysis, Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Londrina. Brazil.
4
Health Sciences Graduate Program, Health Sciences Center, State University of Londrina, Av. Robert Koch, 60 ; ZIP: 86035-380 - Londrina - Paraná. Brazil.
5
Department of Clinical Medicine and Translational Psychiatry Research Group, Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, CE. Brazil.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate whether increased levels of high-sensitivity C- reactive protein (hs-CRP) observed in individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) compared to healthy controls (HCs) could be influenced by a previous exposure to early life stress (ELS) independently from other explanatory or background variables, including age, body mass index (BMI), and the presence of co-occurring mental disorders.

METHODS:

In this case-control study we included 142 healthy controls and 92 bipolar I and II patients. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire was administered in a subset of 30 female patients with BD and 31 female HCs, and plasma hs-CRP was measured in all subjects. Multivariable models adjusted the data for the possible confounding variables.

RESULTS:

Serum hs-CRP levels were significantly higher in patients with BD compared to HCs. However, after controlling for BMI, these differences were no longer significant. Around 55% of the variance in hs-CRP was explained by cumulative and independent effects of age, BMIand childhood trauma, especially sexual abuse.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results show that increased hs-CRP levels in BD patients are more related to childhood trauma, especially sexual abuse, age and BMI than to a diagnosis of BD per se. These data suggest that peripheral inflammation may underpin the well-known detrimental effects of childhood maltreatment and obesity in the course of BD. Hs-CRP data are difficult to interpret if they are not adjusted for effects ofBMI and age.

KEYWORDS:

CRP. ; anxiety; bipolar disorder; childhood sexual abuse; early life stress; immune activation; inflammation

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