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Psychosom Med. 2008 Nov;70(9):1035-43. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e318187a2fb. Epub 2008 Oct 21.

Childhood adversity, early-onset depressive/anxiety disorders, and adult-onset asthma.

Author information

1
Department of Psychological Medicine, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Otago University, Wellington, Wellington South, New Zealand. kate.scott@otago.ac.nz

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate a) whether childhood adversity predicts adult-onset asthma; b) whether early-onset depressive/anxiety disorders predict adult-onset asthma; and c) whether childhood adversity and early-onset depressive/anxiety disorders predict adult-onset asthma independently of each other. Previous research has suggested, but not established, that childhood adversity may predict adult-onset asthma and, moreover, that the association between mental disorders and asthma may be a function of shared risk factors, such as childhood adversity.

METHODS:

Ten cross-sectional population surveys of household-residing adults (>18 years, n = 18,303) assessed mental disorders with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI 3.0) as part of the World Mental Health surveys. Assessment of a range of childhood family adversities was included. Asthma was ascertained by self-report of lifetime diagnosis and age of diagnosis. Survival analyses calculated hazard ratios (HRs) for risk of adult-onset (>age 20 years) asthma as a function of number and type of childhood adversities and early-onset (<age 21 years) depressive and anxiety disorders, adjusting for current age, sex, country, education, and current smoking.

RESULTS:

Childhood adversities predicted adult-onset asthma with risk increasing with the number of adversities experienced (HRs = 1.49-1.71). Early-onset depressive and anxiety disorders also predicted adult-onset asthma (HRs = 1.67-2.11). Childhood adversities and early-onset depressive and anxiety disorders both predicted adult-onset asthma after mutual adjustment (HRs = 1.43-1.91).

CONCLUSIONS:

Childhood adversities and early-onset depressive/anxiety disorders independently predict adult-onset asthma, suggesting that the mental disorder-asthma relationship is not a function of a shared background of childhood adversity.

PMID:
18941133
DOI:
10.1097/PSY.0b013e318187a2fb
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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