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The effect of cortisone on anxiety in patients with bronchial asthma


Several studies have addressed the relationship of cortisone and levels of anxiety. Studies on the influence of exogenously administered cortisone and levels of anxiety in the Greek population are lacking.

Materials and methods

We studied 40 patients with bronchial asthma split in 2 groups: in one therapy included cortisone and in the other not. The two groups did not differ in sex ratio (x2 p > 0.05), age (t test p > 0.05) or duration of disease (t test p > 0.05), factors that are implicated in generating anxiety. Anxiety symptoms were assessed with the widely used Spielberger scale (A-trait).


Mean age of the studied subjects was 42.70 years (SD: 13.69) whereas mean duration of disease was 8.98 (SD: 5.98). For men mean anxiety score was 39.78 (SD: 8.86; significantly higher than the corresponding value of 34.54 in the general population; t test p < 0.05) whereas for women mean anxiety score was 44.11 (significantly higher than the corresponding value of 37.34 in the general population; t test p < 0.01). However, no differences in depressive symptoms were noted between groups (vis-á-vis cortisone therapy) (t test p > 0.05). Furthermore no differences were found in the number of subjects that reported elements of anxiety (x2 p > 0.05).


Although bronchial asthma is associated with high levels of anxiety symptoms the therapeutic use of cortisone does not appear to contribute in any way in the modulation of these levels. Nevertheless, it seems necessary to evaluate the relationship between cortisone and anxiety taking into account the factor of disease severity, which in clinical practice appears to be linked to high levels of depression as well as with the necessity of administering cortisone.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Tselebis, A., Ilias, I. & Bratis, D. The effect of cortisone on anxiety in patients with bronchial asthma. Ann Gen Psychiatry 5 (Suppl 1), S124 (2006).

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