Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Linked to Peptic Ulcer Disease

26.11.2002


A new finding of a link between an anxiety disorder and peptic ulcer disease lends support to the view that this gastrointestinal disease and anxiety disorder may share a common link. In recent years, attention has focused on a more biological element with the identification of bacteria as a cause of peptic ulcers.

"The identification of Helicobacter pylori as an infectious cause of peptic ulcer disease has been considered by many to disprove the possibility that there is an important relationship between anxiety disorders and gastrointestinal disease," says study author Renee D. Goodwin, Ph.D., from the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City.

"Over the last several years research on the causes and treatments for peptic ulcer disease has neglected the links with psychiatric/psychological factors," she notes.



Goodwin and co-author Murray B. Stein, M.D., from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California at San Diego in California, analyzed data from the National Comorbidity Survey, a household survey of U.S. individuals aged 15 to 54, to determine the relationship between generalized anxiety disorder and ulcers.

Generalized anxiety disorder affects between 3 percent and 4 percent of the population, and is characterized by unremitting worry, dread and lack of energy. A peptic ulcer is a sore in the lining of the stomach or small intestine. More than 25 million Americans suffer from an ulcer during their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Goodwin and Stein found that generalized anxiety disorder was associated with a significantly increased risk of self-reported peptic ulcer disease. They also found that the more anxiety symptoms reported by the generalized anxiety sufferers, the more likely they were to report peptic ulcer disease.

These study findings support previous research. "The identification of a dose-response relationship between the two disorders offers further support for the hypothesis that the relationship between the two disorders is genuine," says Goodwin. The study results are published in the November/December issue of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

The mechanism behind the link is unknown, but the researchers suggested four scenarios. One, the stress side effect of generalized anxiety disorder may cause peptic ulceration. Two, having peptic ulcer disease may somehow lead to an anxiety disorder. Three, an environmental or genetic factor may increase vulnerability to the co-occurrence of the two disorders. Or, four, individuals with generalized anxiety disorder over-report ulcer symptoms, according to the study.

These findings don’t disprove the hypothesis that a bacterial infection causes ulcers, but may refine it, according to the study.

"In light of recent data suggesting peptic ulcer disease is caused by exposure to an infectious agent, these data add an interesting perspective," says Goodwin. "If indeed Helicobacter pylori were the sole cause of peptic ulcer disease, it seems unlikely this sort of association would emerge in the data."

It is possible that persistent, severe anxiety and infectious agents may both contribute to the development of peptic ulcers, according to the study. This scenario is supported by laboratory findings that stress, which is associated with generalized anxiety disorder, may affect the body’s immune response to bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori.

Goodwin and Stein note study limitations, including that study data was based on self-reports, and individuals with chronic anxiety may over-report their experience of peptic ulcer disease. The data was also based on retrospective reports, which are subject to memory bias.

These findings, if supported by other studies, should increase awareness that patients seeking help for peptic ulcer disease may be at increased risk for generalized anxiety disorder.

"This awareness may improve rates of identification and treatment of this common yet frequently unrecognized anxiety disorder," says Goodwin.

The researchers also note that medications that treat generalized anxiety disorder, such as antidepressants, may have potential for treating peptic ulcer disease, "perhaps in combination with medications that eradicate Helicobacter pylori," according to the study.

Funding for the study and data collection came from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, and the W.T. Grant Foundation.


Health Behavior News Service: (202) 387-2829 or www.hbns.org.
Interviews: Contact Randee Sacks at (212) 305-5635 or rs363@columbia.edu.
Psychosomatic Medicine: Contact Victoria White at (352) 376-1611, ext. 5300, or visit www.psychosomaticmedicine.org.

Center for the Advancement of Health
Contact: Ira R. Allen
Director of Public Affairs
202.387.2829
press@cfah.org

Randee Sacks | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org.
http://www.hbns.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht TSRI researchers develop new method to 'fingerprint' HIV
29.03.2017 | Scripps Research Institute

nachricht Periodic ventilation keeps more pollen out than tilted-open windows
29.03.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>