Journal article

Asthma and Panic in Young Adults: a 20-year prospective community study


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  • 2005
Published in:
  • American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. - New York City : American Thoracic Society. - 2005, vol. 171, no. 11, p. 1224-1230
English Rationale: Psychologic factors are increasingly recognized to influence the onset and course of asthma. Previous cross-sectional community-based studies have provided evidence for a relatively specific association between asthma and panic.

Objectives: To examine concurrent and longitudinal associations between asthma and panic in young adults.

Measurements and main results: Prospective community-based cohort study of young adults (n = 591) followed between ages 19 and 40. Information was derived from six subsequent semistructured diagnostic interviews conducted by professionals. Cross-sectionally (over the whole study period), asthma was more strongly associated with panic disorder (odds ratio [OR] = 4.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7, 9.3) than with any panic, which included panic disorder and panic attacks (OR = 2.1; 95% CI, 1.1, 4.5). Longitudinally, after adjusting for potentially confounding variables, active asthma predicted subsequent panic disorder (OR = 4.5; 95% CI, 1.1, 20.1), and the presence of panic disorder predicted subsequent asthma activity (OR = 6.3; 95% CI, 2.8, 14.0). Asthma predicted any panic (OR = 2.7; 95% CI, 1.1, 7.1), whereas any panic did not predict subsequent asthma activity. Associations were stronger in smokers than in nonsmokers, and stronger in women than in men. Smoking, early-childhood anxiety, and a family history of allergy were important confounders of the asthma-panic association.

Conclusions: This is the first long-term follow-up study on asthma and panic. It showed dose-response-type relationships between panic and asthma, and bidirectional longitudinal associations between the two conditions. It provided evidence for familial factors and smoking as possible shared etiologic explanations.
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Master en médecine
  • English
Pathology, clinical medicine
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