• amalgam related complaints;
  • dental amalgam;
  • dental material;
  • life events;
  • mercury

Sundström A, Bergdahl J, Nyberg L, Bergdahl M, Nilsson L-Göran. Stressful negative life events and amalgam-related complaints. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2011; 39: 12–18. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S


Objectives:  The role of stressful life events in the onset of self-reported amalgam-related complaints is unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between life events and amalgam-related complaints.

Method:  The participants were selected from a longitudinal population-based study. One-to-one matching of 337 participants with amalgam-related complaints to 337 participants without such complaints was performed. For 81 of the participants with amalgam-related complaints and their matched controls, data was also available approximately 5 years before the onset of complaints, making longitudinal analysis possible. All participants completed questionnaires assessing the occurrence of 55 life events.

Results:  The results showed that many participants with amalgam-related complaints experienced negative life events before and at the onset of amalgam-related complaints. They also reported more unexpected and uncontrollable events difficult to adjust to in comparison with controls. The groups did not differ on positive or neutral life events. Somatic illness or surgical operation was the most common life event. Death of a very close family member and a major change in financial situation were also commonly reported.

Conclusions:  This study indicates that adverse negative life events could play a vital role in understanding and explaining amalgam-related complaints.