Left-handedness and parental psychopathology in the course of bronchial asthma in childhood
Psychopathology in the family seems to have a role in the course of a child's asthma. The purpose of this study was to examine the possible impact of parental anxiety and depression on the course of asthma, as well as to examine the relationship between left-handedness and asthma in children. The International Study of Asthma and Allergy in Childhood (ISAAC), the Foulds and Bedford Inventory for Anxiety and Depression (DSSI/sAD), and the Edinburgh Left-handedness Inventory were administered to 70 families with asthmatic children 4-8 years old. One year later, the children's asthma was reevaluated using a brief questionnaire based on ISAAC. A sample of 70 families with nonasthmatic healthy children were used as controls. The majority of children in the study group had mild asthma. Allergic rhinitis was found in 31.4% and allergic dermatitis in 20% of the sample. The parents of the asthmatic children scored significantly higher in DSSI/sAD compared to parents of the controls. Maternal anxiety reached the level of clinical disease. Maternal anxiety and left-handedness of the child were associated with asthmatic attacks 1 year later. These results suggest an important psychological role in the evolution of asthma. A possible genetic link between asthma and psychiatric diseases may exist.