Mental health risk doubled in teens with asthma

Where 25% of young people in the general population report poor psychological health, the rate was 50% among the group of 12–25-year-olds surveyed by Asthma Australia and the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre.

Anxiety, feeling self-conscious, difficulty in coping with stress and poor body image topped the list of worries. Nearly one in five respondents were likely to have a severe mental health disorder based on their scores on a standard psychological distress scale, the researchers said.

Other key findings from the National Young People and Asthma Survey of 533 patients, commissioned by the federal government, included one in six reporting interrupted sleep on four or more nights per week.

Almost half of the respondents said that they had missed school, work or social events due to their asthma.

Respiratory physician Dr Simon Bowler, chairperson of Asthma Australia’s medical and scientific advisory committee, said