Self-rated health (SRH) is a reliable predictor of health outcomes including morbidity and mortality. Immune dysregulation is one hypothesized mechanism underlying the association between SRH and health outcomes. Indeed, poorer SRH is associated with greater inflammation. The association between SRH and reactivation of latent herpesviruses is unknown, representing an important gap in the literature given that reactivation of latent herpesviruses leads to enhanced inflammation. The present study addressed this important gap in the literature by examining associations between SRH, inflammation (i.e., peripheral cytokines in the blood), and reactivation of latent herpesviruses among a sample of 1208 individuals participating in the Texas City Stress and Health Study. Participants completed a self-report measure of SRH and a blood draw. Results indicated that higher SRH was associated with lower reactivation of latent herpesviruses and inflammation. Moreover, reactivation of latent herpesviruses partially mediated the association between SRH and inflammation. Accordingly, findings add to our growing understanding of the association between SRH and immune dysfunction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry