Article

Childhood adversity, early-onset depressive/anxiety disorders, and adult-onset asthma.

Department of Psychological Medicine, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Otago University, Wellington, Wellington South, New Zealand.
Psychosomatic Medicine (Impact Factor: 4.09). 10/2008; 70(9):1035-43. DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e318187a2fb
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To investigate a) whether childhood adversity predicts adult-onset asthma; b) whether early-onset depressive/anxiety disorders predict adult-onset asthma; and c) whether childhood adversity and early-onset depressive/anxiety disorders predict adult-onset asthma independently of each other. Previous research has suggested, but not established, that childhood adversity may predict adult-onset asthma and, moreover, that the association between mental disorders and asthma may be a function of shared risk factors, such as childhood adversity.
Ten cross-sectional population surveys of household-residing adults (>18 years, n = 18,303) assessed mental disorders with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI 3.0) as part of the World Mental Health surveys. Assessment of a range of childhood family adversities was included. Asthma was ascertained by self-report of lifetime diagnosis and age of diagnosis. Survival analyses calculated hazard ratios (HRs) for risk of adult-onset (>age 20 years) asthma as a function of number and type of childhood adversities and early-onset (<age 21 years) depressive and anxiety disorders, adjusting for current age, sex, country, education, and current smoking.
Childhood adversities predicted adult-onset asthma with risk increasing with the number of adversities experienced (HRs = 1.49-1.71). Early-onset depressive and anxiety disorders also predicted adult-onset asthma (HRs = 1.67-2.11). Childhood adversities and early-onset depressive and anxiety disorders both predicted adult-onset asthma after mutual adjustment (HRs = 1.43-1.91).
Childhood adversities and early-onset depressive/anxiety disorders independently predict adult-onset asthma, suggesting that the mental disorder-asthma relationship is not a function of a shared background of childhood adversity.

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