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Exam stress ups asthma. (Clinical Capsules).

The psychological stress of school exams can increase the severity of asthma by increasing airway inflammation response, said Dr. Lin Ying Liu and associates at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. A study of 20 college students with mild allergic asthma found that the percentage of sputum eosinophil counts was significantly higher both 6 hours and 24 hours after an antigen challenge during final exam week than during a less stressful time (Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 165[8]:1062-67, 2002). The percentages were 7% during periods of low stress, compared with 10.5% during stress 6 hours post challenge and 11.3% during stress 24 hours post challenge. As Dr. John Bienenstock of McMaster University Hamilton, Ont., noted in an accompanying editorial, "the upregulation of eosinophils in the lung may well reflect the effects of stress on bone marrow and distribution or redistribution to tissue sites" (Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 165[8]:1034-35, 2002).
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Author:Splete, Heidi
Publication:Clinical Psychiatry News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2002
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