Girls with Asthma Are More Likely to be Depressed

Nonallergic asthmatic girls three times more likely to suffer from depression

(RxWiki News) Asthma in children can limit some normal everyday activities, but it may also affect their emotional state as well. A new study indicates that girls with asthma may be more likely to suffer from depression.

A new study compared girls who had asthma due to allergies and girls with non-allergic asthma to girls who did not have asthma. The study found that girls with non-allergic asthma were more likely to suffer from depression. That number increased significantly if the girl was overweight. This study could help doctors not only treat asthma but also look for symptoms of depression.

"Ask your doctor about depression if your child has asthma."

Researchers from the University of Alberta in Canada studied 431 girls aged between 11 and 14 years old. 136 had asthma and 295 girls did not. After adjusting all the variables, the risk of depression among girls with non-allergic asthma was three times higher than among healthy girls.

Researchers also considered waist circumference as an additional factor for depression. According to the researchers, children who have asthma or depression are more likely to be overweight. When waist circumference was factored in, for every 10 centimeters (close to four inches) accounted for, there was at least a 39 percent increase in the risk of having depression.

In an additional test, boys did not show any association between asthma, waist circumference and depression.

Linking nonallergic asthma with depression can help doctors better treat patients at a very important part of a girl's life. Future studies can look at what treatments are most effective for girls suffering from asthma and depression. The study concluded that doctors should look for signs of depression and treat any symptoms seriously.

This study was published in the November edition of CHEST, the journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

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Review Date: 
November 22, 2011