Year: 2020 Source: European Respiratory Journal. (2015). 46, 96-106; DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00011415 SIEC No: 20200045

Asthma is a highly prevalent chronic condition worldwide, and is particularly common in younger people compared to other chronic conditions. Asthma can result in a number of symptoms that are detrimental to the quality of life of sufferers. The aim of the present systematic literature review was to analyse the existing literature on the relationship between asthma and fatal and nonfatal suicidal behaviours.

Articles were retrieved from Scopus, PubMed, ProQuest and Web of Knowledge. We searched for the terms (suicid* OR self-harm) AND (asthma* OR “bronchial hyperreactivity”) published in English-language peer-reviewed journals between 1990 and December 2014. Original research papers providing empirical evidence about the potential link between asthma and suicidal behaviours were included.

The initial search identified 746 articles. Specific limiting criteria reduced the number of articles to the 19 articles that were finally included in the systematic review.

The review found a potential link between asthma and suicide mortality, ideation and attempts across the age groups. Limitations of the review include the restriction to English-language papers published within the chosen time period, the limited number of papers involving suicide mortality, and the fact that the majority of papers originated from the USA.