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Asthma and Suicidal Ideation

CITATION:  Goodwin, R.D., Marusic, A. (2001). Asthma and Suicidal Ideation Among Youth in the Community.  Crisis 2004; Volume 25 (3): 99–102.


Objective: To determine the association between asthma and suicidal ideation among youth in the community.

Method: Data were drawn from the MECA (n = 1285), a community-based study of youth aged 9–17 in the United States. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to determine the association between asthma and suicidal ideation, adjusting for differences in sociodemographic characteristics and mental disorders.

Results: Asthma was associated with a significantly increased likelihood of suicidal ideation (OR = 3.25 [1.04, 10.1]), compared to youth without asthma.

Conclusions: These data suggest that youth who are hospitalized for asthma may have higher than expected levels of suicidal ideation, compared with youth without asthma in the community. This association appears to persist after controlling for the effects of comorbid mental disorders. These findings are consistent with previous clinical reports of an association between physical illness and suicidal ideation, as well as with links between asthma and suicidal ideation among adults. More in-depth evaluation of the mental health of youth hospitalized for asthma may be indicated if these results are replicated.


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