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Author Notes:

Vasiliki Michopoulos, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, 49 Jesse Hill Jr. NE, Atlanta, GA 30303, vmichop@emory.edu.

This study would not have been possible without the research expertise and technical assistance of all the staff, volunteers, and participants of the Grady Trauma Project.

All authors have no conflicts of interest.


Research Funding:

The current study was supported by MH096764, MH071537 (KJR), MH082256 (CFG), HD071982 (BB), MH102890 (APL), HD085850 (VM); the Emory and Grady Memorial Hospital General Clinical Research Center; NIH National Centers for Research Resources (M01RR00039); NARSAD (CFG); The Burroughs Welcome Fund (KJR); the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (KJR); the Atlanta Clinical Translational Science Institute; the NIH National Centers for Research Resources (M01 RR00039); and the Emory University General Clinical Research Center at Grady Hospital.

APW is supported by the VA CDA IK2CX000601.


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Psychiatry
  • PTSD
  • c-reactive protein
  • Immune response
  • Positive affect
  • Negative affect
  • Health
  • SF-36

Affect, inflammation, and health in urban at-risk civilians


Journal Title:

Journal of Psychiatric Research


Volume 104


, Pages 24-31

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Positive and negative affect are both associated with health outcomes. Using validated measures, we examined associations between affect, self-reported measures of health, and objective measures of systemic inflammation in a cross-sectional sample of outpatient subjects recruited from an urban county hospital. Participants (n = 1055) recruited from the Grady Trauma Project in Atlanta, GA underwent standardized interviews including self-report measures of psychiatric symptoms and physical health. A subset (n = 246) consented to an assay of serum C-reactive protein (CRP). Regression models including positive affect as the predictor variable with covariates of age, gender, income, trauma load, depression and PTSD symptoms, were significantly associated with physical health domain scales of the Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36) of general health (R2 = 0.212; p < 0.001) and physical functioning (R2 = 0.154; p = 0.013). No association was observed using negative affect as the predictor variable. While greater serum CRP concentrations were associated with less positive affect (r = −0.137; p = 0.038), this relationship did not remain significant (p = 0.250) when controlling for demographic variables, body mass index, trauma load, and psychiatric symptoms. Future studies using larger samples or samples with more variance for CRP and positive and negative affect may be helpful in investigating the relationship between CRP and positive and negative affect. Our results support the hypothesis that positive affect contributes beneficially to physical health. Development of strategies to enhance positive affect in at-risk populations may be a meaningful way to improve their health.

Copyright information:

© 2018 Elsevier Ltd.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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