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.
Kuehn BM. Asthma Linked to Psychiatric Disorders. JAMA. 2008;299(2):158-160. doi:10.1001/jama.2007.54-a