A study, reported recently in Thorax, found that stressful events significantly increased children's chances of having asthma attacks within 2 days and again about 6 weeks later. For 1 1/2 years, the study tracked the health of 60 children, aged 6 to 13, with asthma. The families were asked to keep records of the children's asthma attacks and to conduct daily tests of their breathing capacity. In addition, family members were instructed to record any events that might trigger stress, such as moving or changes in the household.
The results of the study showed that the children were 4 times as likely to suffer attacks within 2 days of stressful events. Although the reasons were unclear, the researchers said that the children also were at a higher risk of having another asthma attack 6 weeks later.