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Early-Life Stress Linked with Cytomegalovirus in MDD

JAMA Psychiatry; ePub 2019 Mar 6; Ford, et al

Individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) who experienced more early-life stress were more likely to test positive for cytomegalovirus (CMV), and this finding was replicated in a confirmation sample despite substantially different inclusion and exclusion criteria. This study tested the hypothesis that early-life stress is a risk factor for CMV infection using a discovery sample of 179 volunteers who were diagnosed with MDD based on the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, and a replication sample of 295 volunteers who met DSM-V criteria for MDD per the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview. Researchers found:

  • Among the 474 total participants, 172 (36.3%) had remitted MDD; 152 (32.1%) were taking medication for MDD; and 249 (52.5%) were CMV positive.
  • Logistic regression models controlling for age, sex, and ethnicity revealed that individuals with more early-life stress had increased odds of testing positive for CMV in both the discovery (odds ratio [OR], 1.02) and replication (OR, 1.02) samples.
  • Participants who affirmed more physical and sexual abuse were more likely to test positive for CMV in both discovery and replication samples.
Citation:

Ford BA, Yolken RH, Aupperle RL, et al. Association of early-life stress with cytomegalovirus infection in adults with major depressive disorder. [Published online ahead of print March 6, 2019]. JAMA Psychiatry. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.4543.

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