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Salivary Bioscience News

Stress associated with higher salivary CRP levels in infants

Association between early life adversity and inflammation during infancy.

Author: David J, et al. (2017), Dev Psychobiol.

Early life adversity is associated with adult elevations of inflammatory markers such as circulating levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). Few studies have measured inflammation or its association with psychosocial stress during infancy. Existing evidence suggests that early adversity can embed itself into young children’s biology with implications for lifelong development. This study examined the association between psychosocial stress and salivary CRP in infants. Early adversity in the form of socioeconomic disadvantage and maternal psychosocial stress were measured when infants were 17 months old. Resting state saliva samples were collected to assess CRP (pg/ml) levels via enzyme immunoassay. Results revealed that both socioeconomic disadvantage and maternal psychosocial stress were independently associated with higher infant CRP levels. These results raise questions about timing of exposure to adversity, and about the potentially lasting effects on inflammatory processes when such exposure occurs early in development.

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Keywords: C-reactive protein in saliva, adversity, development, infants, inflammation

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