Certain Behaviors, Psychosocial Stressors Associated with Asthma


Study authors examined the association between violence and poor health habits, such as soda consumption, to asthma.

A research team through the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh have found that asthma may worsen during adolescence due to health risk behaviors and psychosocial stressors, including exposure to violence, poor diet, and marijuana use.

The results were presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in Dallas, TX.

The study examined approximately 24,612 high school students who participated in the 2009 and 2011 National Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey (YRBSS). Utilizing these self-administered survey, investigators collection information on demographic characteristic, health risk behaviors, psychosocial stressors, and asthma.

Asthma was reported by approximately 13% of participating adolescent. Gender, obesity, sleep duration, soda consumption, and marijuana use were found to increase the odds of asthma from 14% to 36%. Along those same lines, violent behavior, any victimization, suicidal behavior, and feeling hopeless or sad in the past year were also associated with asthma.

According to the authors, asthma remains a significant public health burden among adolescents in the United States. Among potentially modifiable risk factors, such as obesity, poor sleep, and psychological stressor, influences such as depressive symptoms may explain associations between violence and asthma.

In order to reduce asthma among this group of adolescents, the authors call for the promotion of health life choices, early detection of violence exposure, and treatment of depressive symptoms.


Violence Exposure, Health Risk Behaviors, and Current Asthma Among US Adolescents [study abstract]. ATS website. Published May 22, 2019.https://www.abstractsonline.com/pp8/#!/5789/presentation/9872. Accessed May 22, 2019.

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