Divorce linked to child asthma

Divorce|April 8th 2015

Children whose parents divorce are more likely to develop asthma, a new study suggests.

Researchers analysed data collected by the National Survey of Children’s Health in the United States. This included interviews with parents of over 92,000 children up to 17 years old.

Their analysis found that children who experience stressful events early in their lives were 28 per cent more likely to develop asthma than those who did not. Such events, called ‘adverse childhood experiences’ (ACE) in the study, could be as extreme as witnessing domestic violence or drug problems or as common as divorce or separation.

Dr Robyn D. Wing was the lead author of the study. She said that 31 per cent of children in their sample “were exposed to at least one ACE” and that the most common of these was children who lived “with a parent or guardian who got divorced or separated”.

She noted that a quarter of the children in the study who had been exposed to five or more ACEs had been diagnosed with asthma. Conversely, only 12 per cent of those who did not have any ACEs had a similar diagnosis.

“The data showed that the more adverse childhood experiences … a child is exposed to, the greater the probability he or she will develop asthma”, Dr Wing said.

The research was published in the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Photo by net_efekt via Flickr

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  1. Luke says:

    I have little doubt that this is true – my relative got divorced and the whole process took the best part of 2 years. There is no doubt the children were significantly affected (even the schools reported on it) because both parties were living in the house for the entire time and the atmosphere was truly dreadful.
    Why did it take so long ? Mainly because our ‘wonderful’ Family Court system took the opportunity to drag it out – each side’s lawyer and barrister extracting every penny from the situation…

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