Herald: BAD MOODS SIGN OF HEALTH TROUBLE

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BAD MOODS SIGN OF HEALTH TROUBLE

05 Jan 2019 04:58am IST

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From Our Bureau

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05 Jan 2019 04:58am IST

Report by
From Our Bureau

Negative mood—such as sadness and anger—is associated with higher levels of inflammation and may be a signal of poor health, report researchers.

The investigators found that negative mood measured multiple times a day over time is associated with higher levels of inflammatory biomarkers. This extends prior research showing that clinical depression and hostility are associated with higher inflammation.

Inflammation is part of the body’s immune response to such things as infections, wounds, and damage to tissues. Chronic inflammation can contribute to numerous diseases and conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

This study, the results of which appear in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, is what the researchers believe to be the first examination of associations between both momentary and recalled measures of mood or affect with measures of inflammation, according to principal investigator Jennifer Graham-Engeland, associate professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State.

Researchers asked participants to recall their feelings over a period time in addition to reporting how they were feeling in the moment, in daily life. These self-assessments occurred over a two-week period, and a blood draw followed each to measure markers that indicated inflammation.

The researchers found that negative mood accumulated from the week closer to the blood draw was associated with higher levels of inflammation.

Additional analyses also suggest that the timing of mood measurement relative to the blood draw mattered, Graham-Engeland says. Specifically, there were stronger trends of association between momentary negative affect and inflammation when negative mood was assessed closer in time to blood collection.

Researchers not only used questionnaires that asked participants to recall their feelings over a period time, but they also asked participants how they were feeling in the moment, Graham-Engeland says.

They also found that momentary positive mood from the same week was associated with lower levels of inflammation, but only among men in this study.

Participants came from a community sample generated from a housing development in the Bronx, New York, as part of the larger Effects of Stress on Cognitive Aging, Physiology, and Emotion (ESCAPE) study. Participants were socioeconomically, racially, and ethnically diverse.

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