Stress and asthma during childhood and adolescence

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This article reviews interrelations between stress and asthma in children and adolescents, and the impact of the disease in the family system. A nonsystematic review was conducted searching PubMed, Medline and Scielo databases. Specific models have been developed to understand how hormones like cortisol may affect asthma in chronic stress. Various articles point to an association between asthma and stress during childhood and adolescence. Restrictions are not exclusively related to asthma patients but also exist in a social and family context, with parents having an important role in the management of the disease. There is strong evidence linking stress to asthma. Incorrect parental management of the disease may also be a source of stress for children and adolescents with asthma. Mothers, in particular, deserve careful attention, since they are usually the main caregivers. Emotional factors not only for the patient but for the entire family must be viewed closely with specific health programs designed to reduce the impact of the disease.

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