The relationship between asthma and self-reported anxiety in a predominantly healthy adult population

Elan Gada, David A. Khan, Laura F. Defina, E. Sherwood Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Background Numerous studies involving patients with severe asthma have cited a relation between asthma and anxiety; this relation is responsible for decreased quality of life, increased morbidity, and higher health care usage. However, whether a link between milder asthma and anxiety exists remains unclear. Objective To determine whether asthma and anxiety share an association in a group of predominantly healthy adults. Methods Adults seen at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas from March 2000 through January 2013 for preventive medical examinations that included an extensive medical history, including a questionnaire regarding anxiety history, a physician-based physical examination, and laboratory and spirometric testing were used in the analysis. Multiple logistic regressions were used to determine the relation between asthma and anxiety. Results The sample consisted of 15,675 patients, of whom 1,403 (9%) had an asthma diagnosis. A sizeable majority of patients with asthma rated their health good or excellent, did not use an inhaler, and had a ratio of forced expiration volume in the first second to forced vital capacity greater than 70%. When controlling for covariates, milder asthma was significantly associated with anxiety (odds ratio 1.435, 95% confidence interval 1.238-1.663, P <.001). Smoking, a variable associated with asthma severity, was significantly associated with anxiety (odds ratio 1.432, 95% confidence interval 1.261-1.626, P <.001), although other variables, such as the ratio of forced expiration volume in the first second to forced vital capacity or use of an inhaled corticosteroid or combined inhaled corticosteroid and a long-acting β agonist, were not significantly associated with anxiety. Conclusion In this cohort of patients with predominantly mild asthma, there was a 43.5% increased risk of anxiety. All patients with asthma should be considered at a higher risk of anxiety and a target population for anxiety screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-332
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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