A Henry Ford Hospital study shows that common asthma symptoms, such as shortness of breath, are linked to increased levels of stress and anxiety in teens with asthma.

In a small study of 38 asthma patients ages 14-17, researchers found that their average scores for stress and anxiety levels were higher than those seen in the general population.

Researchers suggest the findings are a red flag for physicians of young asthma patients.

“Because these patients may be particularly vulnerable to stress and anxiety, this information can be helpful to physicians as they counsel their patients about the importance of managing their asthma,” says Cathryn Luria, MD, a Henry Ford fellow and the study’s lead author.

“While we found a link between asthma symptoms and stress and anxiety, it’s not clear which came first — the symptoms or the stress and anxiety. More study is needed to determine that.”

The study is being presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s annual meeting.

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