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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.

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



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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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