Stress, depression, and anxiety predict average symptom severity and daily symptom fluctuation in systemic lupus erythematosus

J Behav Med. 1994 Oct;17(5):459-77. doi: 10.1007/BF01857920.


Forty-one subjects diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) were recruited from across the United States. Regressions were conducted to evaluate the relation among stress, depression, anxiety, anger, and SLE symptom complaints. Negative weighting of major life events predicted symptom history. Significant hierarchical regressions using negative weighting of major life events, impact of daily stress, depression, anxiety, and anger were found for severity of joint pain, abdominal distress, and rash. Analyses using 1-day-lagged predictors yielded similar results. Within-subject analyses suggested that there was much individual variability in the strength of the stress-illness relation. Thus, some individuals appeared to be stress responders, while others did not. Findings for impact of minor life events and depression were consistent across the different levels of analyses. It was concluded that stress, depression, anxiety, and anger are associated with, and may exacerbate, self-reported symptomatology of SLE patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anger
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Causality
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / physiopathology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / psychology*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires