Facebook Can Trigger Asthma: Docs
One asthmatic's 'peak expiratory flow' dropped 20% after logging on
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2010 7:01 AM CST
Ana Maria Corona holds her asthma inhalers and keeps a cell phone by her side in case of an asthma attack, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2007 in Arvin, Calif.   (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)

(Newser) – Facebook: a potential minefield for debtors, married couples, and ... people with asthma? Apparently, according to a group of Italian doctors who recount an odd case in the medical journal Lancet. It seems an 18-year-old asthmatic had been in good health until he stumbled upon his ex-girlfriend—and her bevy of potential suitors—on Facebook, throwing him into a depressive state (and leading him to create a fake account so he could gain access to her profile), reports the Los Angeles Times.

“The sight of this seemed to induce dyspnea," or labored breathing, "which happened repeatedly on the patient accessing her profile," the doctors wrote. The man was told to measure his breathing capacity before and after logging on, and the report notes that his "peak expiratory flow" dipped as much as 20% "post-Facebook." Psychological stress is a known cause of asthma attacks, wrote the doctors, who said Facebook could be "a new source of psychological stress." But thank goodness for modern medicine: There is a cure, according to the docs. Stay off the site.