Association Between Noninfectious Uveitis and Psychological Stress.

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TitleAssociation Between Noninfectious Uveitis and Psychological Stress.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsBerlinberg EJ, Gonzales JA, Doan T, Acharya NR
JournalJAMA Ophthalmol
Date Published2019 02 01
KeywordsAdult, Case-Control Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Eye Infections, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Risk Factors, Stress, Psychological, Surveys and Questionnaires, Uveitis, Vision, Ocular, Visual Acuity

Importance: Uveitis involves dysregulation of the ocular immune system. Stress has been shown to affect immune function, but it is unclear whether there is an association between stress and uveitis.

Objective: To determine whether having uveitis is associated with psychological stress.

Design, Setting, and Participants: A cross-sectional, case-control study including a self-administered survey, medical records review, and diurnal salivary cortisol test was conducted at a university-based uveitis clinic and comprehensive eye clinic. Participants included 146 consecutive adults with noninfectious uveitis and age-matched controls with no eye disease. The study was conducted from December 1, 2017, to March 14, 2018.

Main Outcomes and Measures: Participants completed the self-administered, Cohen 10-item Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10), a demographics questionnaire. Responses to each question were categorized on a 5-point Likert scale, with total scores ranging from 0 (no stress) to 40 (high stress). In addition, participants submitted 3 salivary cortisol samples. Those with uveitis were classified as having recently active or controlled disease through medical records review. The prespecified primary analysis was a linear regression of PSS-10 score and uveitis correcting for age, sex, educational level, employment, and median income. Secondary analyses included comparing PSS-10 scores in patients with recently active and controlled uveitis, determining predictors of stress, and comparing diurnal salivary cortisol between uveitis and control groups.

Results: Of 146 eligible patients, 17 declined participation and 9 consented but were excluded because they did not complete both questionnaires, resulting in 120 patients (80 uveitis; 40 controls) in the final analysis. Eighty participants (66.7%) were women, and 70 (58.3%) were white. Median age was 40 years (interquartile range, 29-59 years). Having uveitis was associated with a 4.3-point increase in PSS-10 score (95% CI, 1.8 to 6.9; P = .002). There was no significant difference in PSS-10 scores between patients with recently active and controlled uveitis (1.0 point greater for patients with active uveitis; 95% CI, -2.0 to 3.9; P = .52). Factors associated with increased PSS-10 score in patients with uveitis included female sex (coefficient, 4.0; 95% CI, 1.6 to 6.5; P = .002), current immunomodulatory therapy (coefficient, 2.5; 95% CI, -0.3 to 5.2; P = .08), history of depression (coefficient, 3.8; 95% CI, 0.8 to 6.8; P = .02), and having posterior or panuveitis (coefficient, 2.6; 95% CI, 0.8 to 4.4; P = .006). Of the 70 participants (58.3%) who had testable samples for cortisol analysis, diurnal salivary cortisol levels did not significantly differ between uveitis and nonuveitis groups.

Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest that patients with uveitis have higher levels of psychological stress compared with controls, yet no significant difference was identified in the stress of patients with active vs controlled uveitis. Consequently, comprehensive treatment for noninfectious uveitis may be able to address the psychological results of this disease.

Alternate JournalJAMA Ophthalmol
PubMed ID30520957
PubMed Central IDPMC6439831
Grant ListP30 EY002162 / EY / NEI NIH HHS / United States