CENTER ON BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE

BODY-MIND CONNECTION

DISEASE

Disease:  Research Article

Disease Menu

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.

ABSTRACT:  

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.

References 

Beasley R, Keil U, von Mutius E, Pearce N, the ISAAC Steering Committee. Worldwide variation in prevalence of symptoms of asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, and atopic eczema: ISAAC. Lancet 1998; 351:1225–1232.

Bolund C. Suicide and cancer: Demographic and social characteristics of cancer patients who committed suicide in Sweden, 1973–1976. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology 1985; 3:17–30.

Cantor CH, Leenaars AA, Lester D, Slater PJ, Wolanowski AM, O’Toole B. Suicide trends in eight predominantly Englishspeaking countries 1960–1989. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 1996; 31:362–373.

Druss B, Pincus H. Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in general medical illnesses. Archives of Internal Medicine 2000; 160:1522–1526.

Gillaspy SR, Hoff AL, Mullins LL, Van Pelt JC, Chaney JM. Psychological distress in high-risk youth with asthma. Journal of Pediatric Psychology 2002; 27:363–371.

Goldney RD, Ruffin R, Fisher LJ,Wilson DH. Asthma symptoms associated with depression and lower quality of life: A population survey. Medical Journal of Australia 2003; 178:437–441.

Goodman SH, Hoven CW, Narrow WE, Cohen P, Fielding B, Alegria M, Leaf PJ, Kandel D, Horwitz SM, BravoM, Moore R, Dulcan MK. Measurement of risk for mental disorders and competence in a psychiatric epidemiologic community survey: The National Institute of Mental Health methods for the epidemiology of child and adolescent mental disorders (MECA) study. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 1998; 33:162–173.

Goodwin RD, Eaton WW. Asthma and the risk of suicide: Findings from the Baltimore Catchment Area Study. American Journal of Public Health (in press).

Goodwin RD, Kroenke K, Hoven CW, Spitzer RL. Major depression, suicidal ideation, and physical illness in primary care. Psychosomatic Medicine 2003; 65:501–505.

Goodwin RD, Olfson M, Shea S, Lantigua R, Gameroff M,Weissman MM. Asthma and mental disorders in primary care. General Hospital Psychiatry (in press).

Gupta MA, Gupta AC. Depression and suicidal ideation in dermatology patients with acne, aloecia areata, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis. British Journal of Dermatology 1998; 139:846–850.

Kolbe J, FergussonW, Vamos M, Garrett J. Case control study of severe life-threatening asthma (SLTA) in adults: Psychological factors. Thorax 2002; 57:317–322.

Lahey BB, Flagg EW, Bird HR, Schwab-Stone M, Canino G, Dulcan MK, Leaf PJ, Davies M, Brogan D, Bourdon K, Horwitz SM, Rubio-StipecM, Freeman DH, Lichtman J, Schaffer D, Goodman SH, Narrow WE, Weissman MM, Kandel DB, Jensen PS, Richters JE, Regier DA. The NIMH methods for the epidemiology of child and adolescent mental disorders (MECA) study: Background and methodology. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 1996; 35:855–864.

Levitan H. Suicidal trends in patients with asthma and hypertension: Achart study. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 1983; 39:165–170.

Madge N. Youth suicide in an international context. European Archives of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 1999; 8:283–291.

Stenager EN, Stenager E. Physical illness and suicidal behavior In K Hawton, K Van Heeringen (Eds), The international handbook of suicide and attempted suicide. New York: Wiley: 2000.