PTSD and asthma.
Events related to severe asthma attacks--such as ambulance rides and invasive procedures, as well as lingering feelings about the possibility of death even after the events resolve--may make children and adolescents with asthma, and their parents, vulnerable to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the researchers noted.
Their study of three groups of adolescents aged 12-18 years included 49 adolescents who had experienced a life-threatening episode, 71 who had asthma but had not experienced a severe episode, and 80 healthy controls (J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry 2006;45:78-86).
Overall, 20% of the adolescents with life-threatening events met the criteria for PTSD, compared with 11% of those with mild asthma and 8% of controls.
The adolescents completed three measures: the UCLA PTSD Reaction Index for DSM-IV, the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children, and the Reynolds Depression Inventory-2. Parents also completed several measures, including the Brief Symptom Inventory.
Predictably, the parents of children who had experienced life-threatening events were significantly more likely to meet criteria for PTSD (29%), compared with the parents of adolescents with nonsevere asthma (14%) and the parents of controls (2%).