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PTSD and asthma.

Adolescents with asthma who have experienced a life-threatening event--as well as their parents--are significantly more likely to experience posttraumatic stress symptoms than are adolescents with less severe asthma or healthy controls, reported Emily Millikan Kean, Ph.D., of the Children's Hospital, Denver, and her associates.

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%).
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Title Annotation:posttraumatic stress disorder; side effects
Author:Splete, Heidi
Publication:Clinical Psychiatry News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2006
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