Another link between chronic illness and psychological disorders has been uncovered. People with asthma are more than twice as likely to have serious psychological distress as people who do not have asthma, according to a news study published in the journal Chest.

The authors caution that while the link appears to be real, it doesn’t prove that asthma causes depression and anxiety, it just means that asthma sufferers are more likely to also struggle with psychological distress. There could be other factors common to people with asthma, including demographic or behavior characteristics, or even asthma medications, that explain the correlation.

“As with any chronic disease, asthma needs to be managed carefully by the patients, and serious psychological distress can get in the way of people managing their own asthma,” explains the study’s primary author. “Clinicians need to ask about psychological symptoms in people with asthma, and they need to treat both psychological distress and asthma.”

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