Are pro-inflammatory markers associated with psychological distress in a cross-sectional study of healthy adolescents 15–17 years of age? The Fit Futures study

Jonas Linkas, Luai Awad Ahmed, Gabor Csifcsak, Nina Emaus, Anne Sofie Furberg, Guri Grimnes, Gunn Pettersen, Kamilla Rognmo, Tore Christoffersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Inflammatory markers have been associated with depression and anxiety disorder in adolescents. Less is known about the association between inflammation and subclinical symptoms in the form of psychological distress. We investigated prevalence of psychological distress and examined the associations between common pro-inflammatory markers and psychological distress in an adolescent population sample. Methods: The study was based on data from 458 girls and 473 boys aged 15–17 years from the Fit Futures Study, a large-scale study on adolescent health, conducted in Northern Norway. Psychological distress was measured with the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL-10). Serum-levels of the following low-grade inflammatory markers were measured: C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin 6 (IL-6), transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-α), tumor necrosis factor alpha variant 1 (TRANCE) and tumor necrosis factor alpha variant 2 (TWEAK). Associations between quartiles of inflammatory markers and HSCL-10 were examined by logistic regression and adjusted for potential confounders in sex-stratified analyses. Results: The proportion of psychological distress above cutoff were 26.9% and 10.8% among girls and boys, respectively. In both girls and boys, crude analysis showed positive associations between all inflammatory markers and HSCL-10, except for TWEAK and TRANCE in boys. However, none of these associations were statistically significant. Further, there were no significant findings in the adjusted analyses. Conclusion: There was a higher prevalence of psychological distress in girls compared to boys. Pro-inflammatory markers were not significantly associated with psychological distress in data from healthy adolescents aged 15–17 years.

Original languageEnglish
Article number65
JournalBMC psychology
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Anxiety symptoms
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Inflammatory markers
  • Psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology

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