Chronic Life Stress and Incident Asthma in Adult Women
To prospectively examine the association between a specific chronic life stressor (i.e., intimate violence exposure) and adult asthma in women.
|Study Design:||Observational Model: Case Control
Time Perspective: Longitudinal
|Study Start Date:||September 2000|
|Estimated Study Completion Date:||August 2005|
Etiologies of the rising prevalence and morbidity of asthma are not well understood. Knowledge gaps are particularly significant with respect to adult-onset asthma. The role of stress in the expression of asthma is largely unexplored in large-scale, prospective, epidemiologic studies and such investigation has been identified as a priority by a recent NHLBI expert panel.
The study prospectively examines the association between a specific chronic life stressor (i.e., intimate violence exposure) and adult asthma in women participating in the Nurses' Health Study II cohort. Emerging epidemiologic data suggest that exposure to intimate violence is a pervasive chronic life stressor associated with adverse impact on womens' psychological and physical health. Traumatic stress such as that related to intimate violence exposure has been associated with neuroendocrine changes known to cause alterations in neuroendocrine and immune functions important to the pathophysiology of inflammatory diseases including asthma. The investigators are testing the hypothesis that women exposed to high-level chronic stress (violence) will be at greater risk for asthma development than women with low-level stress (violence) exposure. The influence of chronic stress on neuroendocrine and immune function as reflected in morning cortisol expression, for the former, and cytokine profiles and IgE production (T-helper cell polarization), for the latter, will also be examined in a nested case control fashion among these women.
|Investigator:||Rosalind Wright||Brigham and Women's Hospital|