Childhood Respiratory Disease and the Risk of Anxiety Disorder and Major Depression in Adulthood
There are a variety of ways to look at this study, but there is no doubt that having almost 20 times the risk of developing anxiety (in infants with respiratory disease at age 1 and parent reported respiratory disease at age 7 that something is happening here. I have several possibilities.
First, it is likely that there would be antibiotics at play here disrupting normal flora. We have seen several studies linking altered GI flora and increased physiological stress. Second, the factors setting up the altered respiratory responsiveness leading to respiratory disease can involve essential immune shifts. This pathological shifting of the immune system can wreak havoc in a variety of ways, including neurological.
Regardless of the linking causes, these findings further underline the importance of avoiding respiratory disease in the first place (healthy pregnancy, strong bacterial flora, unprocessed diet, breastfeeding) as well as an aggressive approach to re-balance the immune system instead of mere medication management.