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J Behav Med. 2008 Aug;31(4):331-9. doi: 10.1007/s10865-008-9164-5. Epub 2008 Jul 9.

The association between anxiety sensitivity and atopy in adult asthmatics.

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Research Center, Division of Chest Medicine, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal - A University of Montreal-Affiliated Hospital, Montreal, QC, Canada.


There is growing evidence linking psychological stress to atopic disease, particularly asthma. Anxiety sensitivity, which is the fear of anxiety-related symptoms, may be particularly important in the study of anxiety and atopic disease. The present study examined the association between atopy and anxiety sensitivity in adult asthmatics. A total of 217 asthma patients who had undergone standard pulmonary function and allergen skin prick testing were included. Participants completed the Anxiety Sensitivity Index, Penn State Worry Questionnaire, Type D Personality Scale-16 and Beck Depression Inventory-II on the day of their asthma clinic visit. Total Anxiety Sensitivity Index score was found to be significantly higher in atopic (M = 17.15, SE = .9) versus non-atopic (M = 12.68, SE = 1.5) asthmatics, independent of age, sex, smoking status, asthma severity, asthma duration, and anxiolytic medication use (F = 6.11, p = .014). There was no evidence for a significant association between any of the other questionnaire scores and atopic status.

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