Dr Stefano Del Giacco
Asthma and psychological factors have been associated for centuries: Moses Maimonides (12th century), in his “Treatise on Asthma”, defined asthma as “difficulty of breathing or a pain in the chest” suggesting behavioural changes as one of the measures to cure it. The literature reports a significantly greater risk of depression, anxiety and/or mental disturbances in asthmatics, with important implications including symptom severity, reduced asthma control, lower quality of life, low therapy adherence, higher incidence of smoking, inactivity and obesity, increased use of healthcare services and therefore a rise in financial burden. However, the evidence gathered is not always univocal, and the association between asthma and affective disorders raised the debate on the true nature of this relationship, whether asthmatic disorders are associated with a higher risk of affective disorders, and/or vice versa, whether affective disorders increase the risk of developing asthma. Furthermore, fascinating hypotheses about the comorbidity between these disorders may suggest mutual pathogenetic mechanisms linked to the complex psycho-neuro-immunological pathways involving mainly pro-inflammatory cytokines and imbalance towards the Th2 T-cell response. In this plenary, Stefano Del Giacco will discuss about the links between asthma and psychiatric/psychological disorders and the importance of this comorbidity for the course of the illness, its prognosis and response to therapy.
Go to 37:15 mins to view Psychological and social effects of Asthma presentation.