Prenatal stress exposure is associated with increased dyspnea perception in adulthood

Abstract

Dyspnoea is the aversive cardinal symptom in various prevalent conditions such as respiratory, cardiovascular and neuromuscular diseases and is associated with great individual and socioeconomic burden [1]. Over the past years, several physiological and also psychological factors have been demonstrated to affect the perception of dyspnoea [1, 2]. For example, high levels of anxiety in adulthood were associated with increased dyspnoea perception in patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but also in healthy controls [2]. Moreover, adverse, separation-related experiences in childhood were linked to the subsequent development of increased anxiety and dyspnoea [3]. However, the effects of adverse experiences in early, prenatal life on dyspnoea perception remain widely unknown, although prenatal exposure to maternal stress and anxiety has convincingly been related to the development of other health and behavioural problems later in life, including impairments of the respiratory control system and high anxiety levels [4–9]. Therefore, this study investigated the relationship between prenatal exposure to maternal stress and the perception of dyspnoea in adulthood 28 years later.

Description

The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.

Keywords

Citation

Von Leupoldt, A., Mangelschots, E., Niederstrasser, N.G., Braeken, M., Billiet, T. and Van den Bergh, B.R. (2017) Prenatal stress exposure is associated with increased dyspnoea perception in adulthood. European Respiratory Journal, 50(2), pp.1700642.

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Research Institute

Institute for Psychological Science