Asthma is the most common chronic disease in childhood and has been designated a public health problem due to the increase in its prevalence in recent decades, the amount of health service expenditure it absorbs and an absence of consensus about its etiology. The relationships among psychosocial factors and the occurrence, symptomatology, and severity of asthma have recently been considered. There is still controversy about the association between asthma and a child's mental health, since the pathways through which this relationship is established are complex and not well researched. This study aims to investigate whether behavior problems are associated with the prevalence of asthma symptoms in a large urban center in Latin America. Methods: It is a cross-section study of 869 children between 6 and 12. years old, residents of Salvador, Brazil. The International Study of Allergy and Asthma in Childhood (ISAAC) instrument was used to evaluate prevalence of asthma symptoms. The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) was employed to evaluate behavioral problems. Results: 19.26% (n = 212) of the children presented symptoms of asthma. 35% were classified as having clinical behavioral problems. Poisson's robust regression model demonstrated a statistically significant association between the presence of behavioral problems and asthma symptoms occurrence (PR: 1.43; 95% CI: 1.10-1.85). Conclusion: These results suggest an association between behavioral problems and pediatric asthma, and support the inclusion of mental health care in the provision of services for asthma morbidity. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
Feitosa, C. A., Santos, D. N., Barreto do Carmo, M. B., Santos, L. M., Teles, C. A. S., Rodrigues, L. C., & Barreto, M. L. (2011). Behavior problems and prevalence of asthma symptoms among Brazilian children. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 71(3), 160–165. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2011.02.004