Children with both asthma and depression are at risk for heightened inflammation.
OBJECTIVE: To test whether children and adolescents with co-occurring asthma and depression are at risk for elevated inflammation-concurrently and at the next assessment. STUDY DESIGN: Up to 6 yearly assessments per person from the prospective, population-based Great Smoky Mountains Study (N = 1420) were used, covering children in the community aged 10-16 years old. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) was assayed from annual bloodspot collections and provided indicators of elevated inflammation at CRP > 1, CRP > 2, and CRP > 3 mg/L. Depression was assessed with the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment. Asthma was assessed using a form adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Health Interview Survey. RESULTS: Controlling common covariates of CRP, the co-occurrence of asthma and depression predicted heightened CRP-concurrently and at the next assessment. In turn, elevated CRP was relatively stable from one assessment to the next. CONCLUSIONS: The co-occurrence of asthma and depression in childhood poses a risk for substantially elevated inflammation concurrently and over time, which could contribute to pathophysiological processes involved in the development of additional chronic diseases and also to asthma--related morbidity and mortality.
Shanahan, L; Copeland, WE; Worthman, CM; Angold, A; Costello, EJ
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