Problem The aim of the study was to identify if (i) psychosocial factors differ in endometriosis; (ii) related psychosocial aspects alter immune markers of depression/sickness behaviour; and (iii) serum immune marker may be indicative for endometriosis.
Method of study We enrolled 103 women in a case–control study. Psychosocial data were obtained, serum levels of interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, IL-13, interferon (IFN)-γ, TNF-α, IFN-α and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) were analysed.
Results Among 69 eligible patients, endometriosis was diagnosed in 38 women. Patients with endometriosis reported reduced quality of life, increased stress perception/depressive symptoms; the Th1/Th2 ratio was in favour of Th1, accompanied by the increased levels of IFN-α. sICAM-1 levels were unaffected. No correlation could be confirmed between psychosocial and immune markers.
Conclusion Women with endometriosis may benefit from strategies contributing to reduction of stress and development of coping mechanisms, thus helping to break the vicious circle of inflammation, sickness behaviour and depression.