Current Research in Medicine

Does Childhood Asthma Increase the Risk of Mood Disorders in Later Life?

Wenbin Liang and Andy H. Lee

DOI : 10.3844/amjsp.2011.93.97

Current Research in Medicine

Volume 2, Issue 2

Pages 93-97


Problem statement: As a chronic condition, asthma may increase the risk of mood disorders. Understanding the association between asthma and mood disorders has important implications for asthma treatment and follow-up in primary care settings. Approach: To investigate whether asthma exposure during childhood is associated with the risk of mood disorders during adolescence and young adulthood, a population-based birth-cohort study of males born between 1980 and 1984 in Western Australia was conducted. Participants were identified using birth registry records and observed from age 12 years to December 31st, 2009 or death, whichever occurred first. Kaplan-Meier survival and Poisson regression analyses were performed to assess the effect of asthma exposure during childhood on the risk of mood disorders. Results: Hospitalization for asthma during childhood was found to be associated with an increased risk of mood disorders. Compared to participants without asthma admission before the age of 12, the relative risk of mood disorders was 1.32 (95% confidence interval 1.01-1.72) for those hospitalized once to twice for asthma and 1.66 (95% confidence interval 1.15-2.41) for those hospitalized three or more times for asthma, after controlling for potential confounding variables. Conclusion: The results supported the literature that asthma during childhood could increase the risk of mood disorders in later life. Prevention strategy should be developed to reduce the stress level among children with asthma to protect their normal mental development.


© 2011 Wenbin Liang and Andy H. Lee. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.