Maternal depression may aggravate childhood asthma

November 20th, 2009 - 1:10 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Nov 20 (ANI): Children with depressed mothers are likely to frequently suffer asthma symptoms, reveals a new study.

According to Johns Hopkins researchers, maternal depression aggravates a child’s asthma.

They looked at 262 mothers of African-American children with asthma and found that children whose mothers had more depressive symptoms had more frequent asthma symptoms during the six-months of the study.

While those whose mothers reported fewer depressive symptoms had less frequent asthma symptoms.

Although it’s still not clear why and how maternal depression affects childhood asthma, but, according to the researchers, depression often involves fatigue, memory lapses and difficulty concentrating and it can affect a parent’s ability to manage the child’s chronic condition, which can involve daily, and sometimes complex, drug regimens and frequent visits to the doctor.

“Mom is the one who must implement the doctor’s recommendations for treatment and follow-up, and if she is depressed she can’t do it well, so the child will suffer,” said lead investigator Dr Michiko Otsuki, a behavioural medicine fellow at Johns Hopkins at the time of the study, now at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Researchers insist treating depressed mothers whose children are at high-risk for asthma complications will likely benefit both mother and child.

The findings are published online in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology. (ANI)

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