Continuing in this week’s news items looking at life’s stresses and the ways it affects our health, I found this article over at MedicalNewsToday.com. It looks at how worries about losing your job can be a trigger for an asthma attack. The study, reported in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, is the first of its kind to tie job related stressors to triggering asthma attacks. Dr. Jian Li is from the University of Dusseldorf in Germany.
Losing One’s Job and Physiological Stress
The observational study can’t tie the risk of losing one’s job to first time asthma attacks but did find a correlation to those with existing asthma conditions. They do say that it ties with other work related studies that found that job stress could trigger a first time asthma event.
235 Million people worldwide have asthma and identifying possible triggers of new-onset reactive airway disease could help in early treatment. The German researchers looked at 7,000 adults in the workplace and found that those who expressed concern about losing their jobs in the next few years were more likely to have new respiratory symptoms and also signs of depression which links back to our previous article.
Increased Respiratory Symptoms and Economic Downturn
Essentially an increase in the likelihood of the anticipation of losing one’s job was tied to a similar increase in a new-onset asthma diagnosis. They suggest that in times of economic distress, there would be a similar increase in reported respiratory symptoms reported to health officials.
This answered a question raised after other studies noted the increase in asthma diagnosis over the last 5 years in Europe. I think this reaffirms the nursing approach to caring for the whole patient, showing that there are clear ties between psychological stress and physiological diseases and symptoms.
Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – JScreen Genetic Testing for Prospective Parents and Episode 318.