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Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2013 May;24(3):230-6. doi: 10.1111/pai.12056.

Association of atopic and non-atopic asthma with emotional symptoms in school children.

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Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Institute of Epidemiology I, Neuherberg, Germany.



To date, there is conflicting evidence whether the association between asthma and depression depends on the atopic or non-atopic asthma phenotype. This study investigates associations between emotional symptoms and atopic and non-atopic asthma in school-aged children.


Cross-sectional data on asthma and allergic diseases at the 10-year follow-up of two birth cohorts were collected by parent-reported physician diagnoses. Specific IgE levels including most common inhalant allergens (SX1) and food allergens (FX5) were measured by RAST-CAP FEIA. Atopic asthma was defined as asthma ever and positive specific IgE test, non-atopic asthma as asthma ever and no IgE sensitization. Emotional symptoms were assessed by parent-reported strength and difficulty questionnaire. Logistic regression modeling were applied to determine likelihood of emotional symptoms in children with atopic and non-atopic asthma controlling for socio-demographic factors, body mass index, atopic eczema, allergic rhinitis, and pubertal development.


Non-atopic asthma was associated with about 3-fold higher likelihood of emotional symptoms compared to children with no asthma (ORadj = 2.90, CI95% = 1.46-5.73). Atopic asthma was not associated with emotional symptoms (ORadj = 1.35, CI95% = 0.81-2.26).


Atopic and non-atopic asthma in children might have different etiologies, whereas for non-atopic asthma, emotional symptoms are relevant, this is not the case in atopic asthma. The relationship between the non-atopic asthma phenotype and emotional symptoms might be dependent on gender.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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