Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Trauma of war doubles asthma risk among civilians

Date:
March 16, 2010
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Living through the trauma of war seems to increase the risk of developing asthma, suggests new research.

Living through the trauma of war seems to increase the risk of developing asthma, suggests research published ahead of print in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Those who are most traumatised are twice as likely to develop the condition as those who are least traumatised by their experiences of war, the research suggests.

The authors base their findings on a random sample of just over 2000 Kuwaiti civilians who endured the Iraqi invasion and seven month occupation of their country in 1990, and were aged between 50 and 69 at the time.

Between 2003 and 2005, these civilians were quizzed about their health, including a diagnosis of asthma after liberation; experiences of the war; and lifestyle factors, such as smoking and weight.

The researchers acknowledge that assessing the impact of war related trauma is difficult, because some of the stressors may be unique to a particular situation and the circumstances can be complex. So they used a validated questionnaire (Harvard Trauma Questionnaire), supplemented with face to face interviews to capture individual experiences.

Around one in six men (16%) and one in five women (20%) did not experience trauma during the war. But two thirds of the men (68%) and over half of the women (59%) feared for their lives.

Among the 413 participants with a low war related stress (Rasch) score, only one reported having been assaulted; three said they had been arrested; and 28 had had their house searched. None had witnessed torture, rape, or executions.

But among the 517 with a high stress score, around one in 10 (12%) had been arrested; one in six (16%) had been assaulted; and more than half (57%) had witnessed torture. New cases of asthma after liberation had been diagnosed in 6.6% of the men and just under one in 10 (9.7%) of the women.

There was a direct correlation between the amount of trauma experienced and the risk of developing asthma, even after adjusting for factors likely to influence the results, including exposure to air pollution as a result of burning oil fires.

Those who had experienced the most trauma were twice as likely to develop asthma as those who had been the least traumatised.

These findings are backed up by a growing body of evidence, which links the physiological impact of stress on the body and inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, say the authors.

"Although prior research has documented the significant and persistent psychological toll of war, these findings implicated even broader health effects," they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Trauma of war doubles asthma risk among civilians." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100315201629.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2010, March 16). Trauma of war doubles asthma risk among civilians. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100315201629.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Trauma of war doubles asthma risk among civilians." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100315201629.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins