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Asthma-stress link found

Asthma-stress link found
16th November 2007

A new study has suggested that asthma can be triggered by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of its effects on the immune system.

Researchers looked at male twins in order to discount genetic factors in the study and found that those who suffered from the most PTSD symptoms were 2.3 times as likely to have asthma compared to those who suffered from the least PTSD symptoms.

Dr Renee D Goodwin, the study's lead researcher, highlighted that the results were not associated with factors such as cigarettes or obesity but rather that PTSD may undermine the immune system.

"It is conceivable that traumatic stress, which has been associated with compromised immune functioning, leads to increased vulnerability to immune-system-related diseases, including asthma," she illustrated.

The team, led by Dr Goodwin, looked at male twins who had grown up together and undertaken military service in the Vietnam War.

This week also saw researchers from the Yale School of Medicine locate a protein which can acts as a biomarker to identify patients with the most serious forms of asthma.

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