Gender and presence of profound psychological traumas versus comorbidity of panic disorder and depression in difficult and aspirin-induced asthma
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Psychiatr Pol 2010;44(6):785–799
Aim. The author examined psychiatrically a group of 106 patients with difficult asthma and 100 patients with aspirin-induced asthma. The special interest of the study was the careful analysis of the time, context and content of different psychological traumas that the patients from both groups had throughout their lives. Methods. 106 consecutive adults with confirmed, physician-diagnosed difficult asthma and 100 patients with aspirin-induced asthma underwent psychiatric interview and assessment using M.1.N.15.0, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Panic And Agoraphobia Scale (PAS). Psychiatric assessment was performed by an experienced liaison psychiatrist according to ICD-10 and DSM-IV diagnosis. In the difficult asthma group, there were 78 women (74%) and 28 men (26%). The average age was 51.3 (SD=14.5) for women and 47.5 (SD=12.7) for men. In the aspirin induced asthma group, there were 66 women (66%) and 34 men (34%). The average age was 52.7 (SD=12.3) for women and 48.8 (SD=13.0) for men. Results. In both groups of asthmatic patients women were majority (74% with difficult asthma and 66% with aspirin-induced asthma) with a higher level of anxiety and depressive symptoms than men. It may be due to specific trauma of suffering and/or death of an emotionally close person, which occurred in adulthood. This kind of trauma may have impact on the aetiology of both panic disorder and depression. Women are more exposed to this sort of trauma due to their social role. Conclusions. It is possible, that psychological trauma affects the development, course and severity of anxiety and depressive symptoms in asthmatic patients. It may play a special role in development of difficult asthma.