Study Links Child Abuse, Asthma

Stress seen as possible cause of respiratory condition
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2008 4:52 PM CDT

(Newser) – Abused children are twice as likely to develop asthma as kids who are not abused, a new study says. Although the research doesn't conclusively establish a cause-and-effect link, it does suggest doctors should consider looking for evidence of physical and sexual abuse in young patients with hard-to-treat asthma, the Boston Globe reports.

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"Is this heredity? Is this environmental factors? Is this some behavioral or lifestyle factor?" said one researcher. Abuse depletes supplies of the hormone cortisol, which helps reduce inflammation, and asthma causes airways to become inflamed. But the results can’t be extrapolated to all kids, and children with asthma may be more likely to be abused because they are vulnerable.

(Read more study stories.)

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