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Chronic pain, perceived stress, and cellular aging: an exploratory study.

Sibille KT, Langaee T, Burkley B, Gong Y, Glover TL, King C, Riley JL, Leeuwenburgh C, Staud R, Bradley LA, Fillingim RB - Mol Pain (2012)

Bottom Line: Subjects completed a physical exam, radiographs, health history, and psychosocial questionnaires.TL differed between the pain/stress groups (p = 0.01), controlling for relevant covariates.Specifically, the chronic pain/high stress group had significantly shorter TL compared to the no pain/low stress group.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: College of Dentistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610-3628, USA. ksibille@ufl.edu

ABSTRACT

Background: Chronic pain conditions are characterized by significant individual variability complicating the identification of pathophysiological markers. Leukocyte telomere length (TL), a measure of cellular aging, is associated with age-related disease onset, psychosocial stress, and health-related functional decline. Psychosocial stress has been associated with the onset of chronic pain and chronic pain is experienced as a physical and psychosocial stressor. However, the utility of TL as a biological marker reflecting the burden of chronic pain and psychosocial stress has not yet been explored.

Findings: The relationship between chronic pain, stress, and TL was analyzed in 36 ethnically diverse, older adults, half of whom reported no chronic pain and the other half had chronic knee osteoarthritis (OA) pain. Subjects completed a physical exam, radiographs, health history, and psychosocial questionnaires. Blood samples were collected and TL was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Four groups were identified characterized by pain status and the Perceived Stress Scale scores: 1) no pain/low stress, 2) no pain/high stress, chronic pain/low stress, and 4) chronic pain/high stress. TL differed between the pain/stress groups (p = 0.01), controlling for relevant covariates. Specifically, the chronic pain/high stress group had significantly shorter TL compared to the no pain/low stress group. Age was negatively correlated with TL, particularly in the chronic pain/high stress group (p = 0.03).

Conclusions: Although preliminary in nature and based on a modest sample size, these findings indicate that cellular aging may be more pronounced in older adults experiencing high levels of perceived stress and chronic pain.

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Relative Telomere Length (Estimated Mean) by Pain/Stress Groups after Adjustments for Age, Race, Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR), and WHR*Group Interaction. Mean and Standard Error: NPLS - no pain/low stress (1.017 ± .007) NPHS - no pain/high stress (1.000 ± .008). CPLS - chronic pain/low stress (1.001 ± .011). CPHS - chronic pain/high stress (.990 ± .008). Covariate values in the model: WHR, race, and age. *Significant at p < 0.05, Least Significant Difference (LSD).
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Figure 2: Relative Telomere Length (Estimated Mean) by Pain/Stress Groups after Adjustments for Age, Race, Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR), and WHR*Group Interaction. Mean and Standard Error: NPLS - no pain/low stress (1.017 ± .007) NPHS - no pain/high stress (1.000 ± .008). CPLS - chronic pain/low stress (1.001 ± .011). CPHS - chronic pain/high stress (.990 ± .008). Covariate values in the model: WHR, race, and age. *Significant at p < 0.05, Least Significant Difference (LSD).

Mentions: Mean duration of knee pain for the chronic pain group was 94.8 ± 93 months (n = 17). TL did not differ between the no pain and chronic pain groups (all p's > 0.10) but did differ between the low stress and high stress groups (p = 0.02) with covariates in the model. Descriptive data by pain/stress group are presented in Table 1 and Figure 1. TL was correlated with age (r = -0.34, p = 0.04) and WHR (r = -0.33, p = 0.05). Further analysis of age and TL stratified by pain/stress groups revealed a significant correlation only in the CPHS group (r = -0.69, p = 0.03) with non-significant associations in the other three groups (r = -.05/NPLS; -.24/NPHS; -.26/CPLS, p > 0.05). Based on previously described criteria, covariates retained in the multivariate model were age, WHR, and race. Additionally, as a result of a significant interaction between WHR and the pain/stress groups an interaction term was also included in the group comparison analyses. Incorporating age, race, WHR, and WHR*group interaction into the model, TL differed across the pain/stress groups, F (3, 26) = 4.33, p = 0.01, η2 = 0.333 (Figure 2). Pairwise comparisons using Least Significant Difference (LSD) indicated NPLS and CPHS group differences (p = 0.02).


Chronic pain, perceived stress, and cellular aging: an exploratory study.

Sibille KT, Langaee T, Burkley B, Gong Y, Glover TL, King C, Riley JL, Leeuwenburgh C, Staud R, Bradley LA, Fillingim RB - Mol Pain (2012)

Relative Telomere Length (Estimated Mean) by Pain/Stress Groups after Adjustments for Age, Race, Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR), and WHR*Group Interaction. Mean and Standard Error: NPLS - no pain/low stress (1.017 ± .007) NPHS - no pain/high stress (1.000 ± .008). CPLS - chronic pain/low stress (1.001 ± .011). CPHS - chronic pain/high stress (.990 ± .008). Covariate values in the model: WHR, race, and age. *Significant at p < 0.05, Least Significant Difference (LSD).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3298803&req=5

Figure 2: Relative Telomere Length (Estimated Mean) by Pain/Stress Groups after Adjustments for Age, Race, Waist-Hip Ratio (WHR), and WHR*Group Interaction. Mean and Standard Error: NPLS - no pain/low stress (1.017 ± .007) NPHS - no pain/high stress (1.000 ± .008). CPLS - chronic pain/low stress (1.001 ± .011). CPHS - chronic pain/high stress (.990 ± .008). Covariate values in the model: WHR, race, and age. *Significant at p < 0.05, Least Significant Difference (LSD).
Mentions: Mean duration of knee pain for the chronic pain group was 94.8 ± 93 months (n = 17). TL did not differ between the no pain and chronic pain groups (all p's > 0.10) but did differ between the low stress and high stress groups (p = 0.02) with covariates in the model. Descriptive data by pain/stress group are presented in Table 1 and Figure 1. TL was correlated with age (r = -0.34, p = 0.04) and WHR (r = -0.33, p = 0.05). Further analysis of age and TL stratified by pain/stress groups revealed a significant correlation only in the CPHS group (r = -0.69, p = 0.03) with non-significant associations in the other three groups (r = -.05/NPLS; -.24/NPHS; -.26/CPLS, p > 0.05). Based on previously described criteria, covariates retained in the multivariate model were age, WHR, and race. Additionally, as a result of a significant interaction between WHR and the pain/stress groups an interaction term was also included in the group comparison analyses. Incorporating age, race, WHR, and WHR*group interaction into the model, TL differed across the pain/stress groups, F (3, 26) = 4.33, p = 0.01, η2 = 0.333 (Figure 2). Pairwise comparisons using Least Significant Difference (LSD) indicated NPLS and CPHS group differences (p = 0.02).

Bottom Line: Subjects completed a physical exam, radiographs, health history, and psychosocial questionnaires.TL differed between the pain/stress groups (p = 0.01), controlling for relevant covariates.Specifically, the chronic pain/high stress group had significantly shorter TL compared to the no pain/low stress group.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: College of Dentistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610-3628, USA. ksibille@ufl.edu

ABSTRACT

Background: Chronic pain conditions are characterized by significant individual variability complicating the identification of pathophysiological markers. Leukocyte telomere length (TL), a measure of cellular aging, is associated with age-related disease onset, psychosocial stress, and health-related functional decline. Psychosocial stress has been associated with the onset of chronic pain and chronic pain is experienced as a physical and psychosocial stressor. However, the utility of TL as a biological marker reflecting the burden of chronic pain and psychosocial stress has not yet been explored.

Findings: The relationship between chronic pain, stress, and TL was analyzed in 36 ethnically diverse, older adults, half of whom reported no chronic pain and the other half had chronic knee osteoarthritis (OA) pain. Subjects completed a physical exam, radiographs, health history, and psychosocial questionnaires. Blood samples were collected and TL was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Four groups were identified characterized by pain status and the Perceived Stress Scale scores: 1) no pain/low stress, 2) no pain/high stress, chronic pain/low stress, and 4) chronic pain/high stress. TL differed between the pain/stress groups (p = 0.01), controlling for relevant covariates. Specifically, the chronic pain/high stress group had significantly shorter TL compared to the no pain/low stress group. Age was negatively correlated with TL, particularly in the chronic pain/high stress group (p = 0.03).

Conclusions: Although preliminary in nature and based on a modest sample size, these findings indicate that cellular aging may be more pronounced in older adults experiencing high levels of perceived stress and chronic pain.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus