Stressful life events in the pathogenesis of Graves' disease

in European Journal of Endocrinology
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Radosavljević VR, Janković SM, Marinković JM. Stressful life events in the pathogenesis of Graves' disease. Eur J Endocrinol 1996;134:699–701. ISSN 0804–4643

A case-control study was conducted in order to assess possible relationships between life events and Graves' disease. The study included 100 newly diagnosed patients with Graves' disease and 100 controls matched with respect to sex, age (±2 years) and type of residence (rural, urban). Paykel's Interview for Recent Life Events (a semistructured research interview covering 61 life events) was administered to each subject. In comparison with controls, the patients claimed to have had significantly more life events in the 12 months preceding the diagnosis (p = 0.0001). The following eight life events were significantly more prevalent among patients than controls: change in time spent on work (much overtime work, second job, much less work than usual) (McNemar = 12.04; RR= 7.00;95%CI= 2.35–20.80;p= 0.0001), unemployment for at least 1 month (McNemar = 4.00; RR = 8.00; 95%CI = 1.04–61.39; p = 0.039), arguments with one's superior at work or a coworker (McNemar = 4.50; RR = 3.50; 95%CI = 1.10–11.08; p = 0.031), change in the work conditions (new company division, new chief, large reorganization) (McNemar = 4.26; RR = 4.00; 95%CI = 1.07–14.92; p = 0.035), increased arguments with spouse (McNemar = 6.75; RR = 11.00; 95%CI = 1.82–66.44; p = 0.006), increased arguments with fiancé/fiancée or a steady date (McNemar = 4.00; RR = 8.00; 95%CI = 1.04–61.39; p = 0.039), hospitalization of a family member for serious illness (McNemar = 3.76; RR = 3.25; 95%CI = 1.01–10.68; p = 0.049) and moderate financial difficulties (McNemar = 8.50; RR = 3.25; 95%CI = 1.47–7.16; p = 0.003). Our findings indicate that life events may be a risk factor for Graves' disease.

Slavenka Janković, Institute of Epidemiology, Višegradska 26, PO Box 456, 11000 Belgrade, Yugoslavia

 

     European Society of Endocrinology

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