Étudiante-chercheuse étoile June 2015

Maxine Boudreau

PhD student in Psychology
Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal

Award-winning publication:: Mediator effect of depressive symptoms on the association between BMI and asthma control in adults

Published in: CHEST



"High obesity rates in asthmatics raise questions on the risk factors of asthma. Still, until now, no study has established clear links between asthma and obesity. We explored the issue by taking into consideration the influence of depressive symptoms on the obesity-asthma relationship since earlier epidemiological studies showed that an increase in body mass index (BMI) may be linked to a higher incidence of asthma, possibly leading to the deterioration of lung function, asthma control and quality of life. Our results indicate that depressive symptoms have a mediating effect on the relationship between BMI and asthma control. We observed that obesity and asthma may be heavily influenced by states of negativity such as depression, probably through behaviours that incite individuals to overeat and consume high-fat foods in periods of distress."

This study will help healthcare professionals consider the negative influence of depressive symptoms when evaluating asthma control and lung function in overweight asthma patients, leading to the development of targeted interventions for at-risk patient cohorts to prevent the weight gain associated with asthma morbidity. Training could therefore become available to physicians and medical professionals who do not possess the tools required to assess psychiatric disorders so that they may better detect depressive symptoms.