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1.  Does a parental history of cancer moderate the associations between impaired health status in parents and psychosocial problems in teenagers: a HUNT study 
Cancer Medicine  2014;3(4):919-926.
Severe disease in a parent is associated with increased psychosocial problems in their children. However, moderating factors of such associations are less studied. In this cross-sectional population-based controlled study we examined the moderating effects of a history of parental cancer on the association between impaired health status in parents and psychosocial problems among their teenagers. Among families with both parents responding to the adult Health Survey of Nord-Trøndelag County of Norway (the HUNT-2 study) 71 couples were identified with primary invasive cancer in one parent. Their 81 teenage children took part in the Young-HUNT study. These families were compared to 322 cancer-free families with 328 teenagers. Based on self-report data the relations between three variables of parental impaired health and six psychosocial problems in teenagers were analyzed family wise by structural equation modeling. Significant associations between parental and teenagers' variables were observed in eight of 18 models. A history of parental cancer was a significant moderator which decreased four of eight significant associations. Such a history significantly weakened the associations between parental poor self-rated health and teenagers' anxiety/depression and school problems. A similar association of a history of parental cancer was found between psychological distress in parents and teenagers' feelings of loneliness and poor self-rated health. This study confirmed strong associations between impaired parental health and psychosocial problems in their teenagers. A history of parental cancer weakened several of the significant associations between parental impaired health variables and psychosocial problems in their teenagers.
PMCID: PMC4303159  PMID: 24723456
HUNT-2; parental cancer; psychosocial problems; teenagers; young-HUNT
2.  A five-year prospective study of fatigue in primary Sjögren's syndrome 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2011;13(5):R167.
Fatigue is prevalent in primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS), and contributes to the considerably reduced health related quality of life in this disease. The symptom is included in proposed disease activity and outcome measures for pSS. Several studies indicate that there is an inflammatory component of fatigue in pSS and other chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases. The purpose of this study was to investigate fatigue change in pSS in a longitudinal study, and explore whether any clinical or laboratory variables at baseline, including serum cytokines, were associated with a change in fatigue scores over time.
A clinical and laboratory investigation of 141 patients fulfilling the American-European consensus criteria of pSS was undertaken in the period May 2004 to April 2005. Median time since diagnosis was 5.5 years. Examinations included the fatigue questionnaires: fatigue severity scale (FSS), fatigue visual analogue scale (VAS), functional assessment of chronic illness therapy - fatigue (FACIT-F) and medical outcome study short form-36 (SF-36) vitality, which were repeated in a follow-up investigation in January and February 2010.
A total of 122 patients (87%) responded at both time-points. Thirty-five percent of patients experienced a clinically significant FSS increase. On the group level, fatigue measures did not change except that there was a slight deterioration in SF-36 vitality score. High serum anti-Sjögren's syndrome A antigen (anti-SSA) showed weak associations with high baseline fatigue, and patients with increasing fatigue had lower baseline unstimulated whole salivary volume. Weak associations between increasing fatigue and serum immunoglobulin G (IgG), and the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-17 (IL-17), were observed. Baseline sicca symptoms correlated with higher fatigue both at baseline and with increasing fatigue over time. Linear regression analysis did not identify any predictive ability of clinical or laboratory measures on fatigue change over time.
Fatigue remained mainly unchanged over time. Using multivariate models did not reveal any clinical or laboratory predictors of fatigue change over time.
PMCID: PMC3308101  PMID: 21996338
3.  Association of low blood pressure with anxiety and depression: the Nord‐Trøndelag Health Study 
Low blood pressure has mainly been regarded as ideal, but recent studies have indicated an association with depression in elderly people.
To investigate whether low blood pressure is associated with anxiety and depression in the general population.
Cross‐sectional study.
Participants in the population‐based Nord‐Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT‐2, 1995–7), Norway.
60 799 men and women aged 20–89 years filled in the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale as part of a general health study. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure was classified in age‐stratified and sex‐stratified centile groups.
Main results
Compared with participants with systolic blood pressure within the 41–60 centile (reference) group, the odds ratio for anxiety was 1.31 (95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.16 to 1.49), for depression 1.22 (95% CI 1.03 to 1.46), and for comorbid anxiety and depression 1.44 (95% CI 1.24 to 1.68) in the group with ⩽5 centile systolic blood pressure. Slightly weaker associations were found of low diastolic blood pressure with anxiety and depression. These associations were similar across sex and age groups. Physical impairment, smoking and angina pectoris influenced the associations only marginally, whereas stroke, myocardial infarction, use of drugs for hypertension, body mass index and several other covariates had no influence.
This study represents epidemiological evidence for an association of low blood pressure with anxiety and depression, which is not caused by cardiovascular disease.
PMCID: PMC2465598  PMID: 17183016
4.  Is genetic counseling a stressful event? 
Acta Oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden)  2011;50(7):1089-1097.
Purpose. The aim of this paper was to investigate whether cancer genetic counseling could be considered as a stressful event and associated with more anxiety and/or depression compared to other cancer-related events for instance attending mammography screening or receiving a cancer diagnosis. Methods. A total of 4911 individuals from three Scandinavian countries were included in the study. Data was collected from individuals who had attended either cancer genetic counseling (self-referred and physician-referred) or routine mammography screening, were recalled for a second mammograpy due to a suspicious mammogram, had received a cancer diagnosis or had received medical follow-up after a breast cancer-surgery. Data from the genetic counseling group was also compared to normative data. Participants filled in the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale twice: prior to a potentially stressful event and 14 days after the event. Results. Pre-counseling cancer genetic counselees reported significant lower level of anxiety compared to the cancer-related group, but higher levels of anxiety compared to the general population. Furthermore, the level of depression observed within the genetic counseling group was lower compared to other participants. Post-event there was no significant difference in anxiety levels between the cancer genetic counselees and all other groups; however, the level of depression reported in the self-referred group was significantly lower than observed in all other groups. Notably, the level of anxiety and depression had decreased significantly from pre-to post-events within the genetic counseling group. In the cancer-related group only the level of anxiety had decreased significantly post-event. Conclusion. Individuals who attend cancer genetic counseling do not suffer more anxiety or depression compared to all other cancer-related groups. However, some counselees might need additional sessions and extended support. Thus, identifying extremely worried individuals who need more support, and allocating further resources to their care, seems to be more sufficient.
PMCID: PMC3205818  PMID: 21864049

Results 1-4 (4)