Predisposing factors to death after recovery from a life-threatening asthmatic attack

J Asthma. 1989;26(4):231-6. doi: 10.3109/02770908909073254.


The outcome of 49 asthmatics (20 men and 29 women) who had suffered a severe exacerbation of asthma requiring mechanical ventilation was investigated in a follow-up study ranging from 23 weeks to 10 years. Over this time, there were 6 fatalities, all female chronic asthmatics requiring treatment with bronchodilators, beclomethasone, and short courses of oral steroids. Three died at home as a consequence of a sudden attack. Another patient developed a cardiorespiratory arrest immediately after having received a sedative. In the remaining two cases, death occurred within hours or days of progressive deterioration. Four of the six women had required psychiatric treatment for an anxiety-depression syndrome. These findings support previous studies suggesting that psychological disturbances may be predisposing factors to death in bronchial asthma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anxiety / complications
  • Anxiety / drug therapy
  • Asthma / complications
  • Asthma / mortality*
  • Asthma / therapy
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Compliance
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors