Published Papers - Abstract 626

Harris ML, Loxton D, Sibbritt DW & Byles JE. The influence of perceived stress on the onset of arthritis in Women: findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 2013; 46(1): 2019-9-18

Background: Psychosocial factors are considered as risk factors for some chronic diseases. A paucity of research exists surrounding the role of perceived stress in arthritis onset.Purpose: Perceived stress as a risk factor for arthritis development was explored in an ageing cohort of Australian women.Methods: This study focused on 12,202 women from the 1946–1951 cohort who completed the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health surveys in 2001, 2004 and 2007. Longitudinal associations were modelled, with and without a time lag.Results: Findings from the multivariate time lag modelling, excluding women with persistent joint pain, revealed that perceived stress predicted the onset of arthritis, with women experiencing minimal and moderate/high stress levels having a 1.7 and 2.4 times greater odds of developing arthritis 3 years later, respectively (p’s<0.001).Conclusion Chronically perceiving life as stressful is detrimental to future health. The findings provide support for perceived stress to be considered alongside other modifiable risk factors.