The impact of life events in recurrence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is unclear.
Dr Julián Panés and colleagues determined whether stressful life events or the emotional impact of these events are associated with IBD relapses.
The research team hypothesized that the exposure of life events among patients with inactive disease will increase the risk of subsequent relapses.
The team conducted a prospective study for 11 months, and included 163 patients with inactive IBD.
The patients had at least one relapse in a 2-year period before entry into the study.
|51 patients relapsed, while104 remained in remission|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
The Spanish version of the Social Readjustment Rating Scale measuring life events and the emotional impact on these life events, was used.
The team also used an IBD activity index completed monthly up to the end of the study or up to a relapse.
The researchers identified biological factors associated with an increased risk of relapse were in patients who relapsed.
The researchers noted that 51 patients relapsed, 104 remained in remission, and 8 dropped out.
Multivariate Cox regression analysis with time dependent variables showed that the number of life events was not associated with the rate of relapse.
This result was consistent after adjustment for significant covariates on the subsequent month or in the time-lagged analysis.
The team observed that the emotional impact of stressful events was also not associated with the risk of relapse.
When patients who suffered a biological risk factor for relapsing were excluded in subsequent statistical analyses, the researchers obtained similar results.
Dr Panés' team concludes, “Our results suggest that stressful life events do not trigger exacerbations in patients suffering from IBD.”