Monday, October 29, 2012

People With Mental Illness May Experience More Colds

If you've experienced mental illness during the past year, you also may have had more than your share of colds. So suggests a study headed by Roselind Lieb, Ph.D., a professor of clinical psychology and epidemiology at the University of Basel in Switzerland and reported in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research. The study was based on a representative population sample of more than 4,000 German adults aged 18 to 65. The researchers found that having a DSM-IV mental disorder was associated with a 44% higher risk of having had a cold during the previous year. The reasons for the link are unclear, but Lieb told Psychiatric News that her leading explanation "is that mental disorders and a weakened immune system may share underlying vulnerability factors such as early-life stress, and stress caused by mental disorders leads to a maladaptive immune system and a lower threshold for the development of colds."

More information about the connection between the mind and the immune system can be found in Psychiatric News here and here.

(Image: grafvision/


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