Asthma, the most common chronic disease in children and adolescents in industrialized countries, is typified by airway inflammation and obstruction leading to wheezing, dyspnea, and cough. However, the effect of asthma does not end with pulmonary changes. Research has shown a direct link between asthma and stress and psychiatric illness, which if untreated results in heightened morbidity and effects on society. The link between asthma and psychiatric illness, however, is often underappreciated by many pediatric and child mental health professionals. This article reviews the diagnosis and treatment of asthma as well as the correlation between asthma and psychiatric illness in children in an effort to improve management and treatment strategies for this prevalent disease. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
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