Stressed Kids At Risk Of Asthma In Adulthood

According to a study, children who suffer physical abuse, death of a parent or other childhood adversity and are anxious or depressed are at increased risk of developing asthma in adulthood.

“This is interesting,” Dr. Kate M. Scott told, “because, although it has been known for a long time that people with asthma are more likely to also experience some anxiety disorders and possibly depression, it is usually thought that these mental disorders occur as a consequence of asthma.”

“It is also well understood that psychological influences like stress or anxiety can exacerbate asthma, but it is rather novel to find suggestive evidence that they may increase the risk of its initial development,” added Scott, who is with the Department of Psychological Medicine, at the University of Otago School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Wellington, New Zealand.

“Our research suggests that psychosocial stressors like childhood adversity and mental disorders occurring earlier in life actually increase the risk of the later development of asthma,” said Scott.

The findings stem from information gathered from more than 18,000 adults in the Americas, Europe and Asia who were interviewed between 2001 and 2004 as part of the World Mental Health surveys.

According to Scott and colleagues, childhood adversity predicted adult-onset asthma, with increasing risk correlating with a greater number of adversities suffered in childhood.

Read more at MSNBC

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