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Medical News and Perspectives
January 9/16, 2008

Asthma Linked to Psychiatric Disorders

JAMA. 2008;299(2):158-160. doi:10.1001/jama.2007.54-a

Individuals with asthma may have an elevated risk of developing psychiatric illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a pair of large studies published in November.

The 2 studies add to a growing body of evidence that suggests 3 possibilities: that asthma shares common risk factors with depression and anxiety disorders, that having asthma increases the risk of developing a variety of psychiatric disorders, or that certain psychiatric disorders increase the risk of asthma. The new studies also provide a clearer picture of which asthma patients are at greatest risk of psychiatric comorbidity and offer more evidence about the role genetics may play in the association.

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