Allergic disease and psychosocial stress
Edited by: Dr Nobuyuki Sudo
Stress is believed to be associated with allergic diseases such as bronchial asthma and atopic dermatitis. Over 2000 years ago, Hippocrates stated that ‘‘the asthmatic should guard himself against his own anger’’ to prevent an asthma attack. Until the 1950s, allergic diseases were predominantly viewed as a psychosomatic disorder in which emotional stress is a key factor in their etiology. Since the second half of the 20th century, the increased awareness of other biological factors of allergy development has shifted the focus away from psychosocial factors. The old concepts are now being reevaluated, with an increasing number of publications reporting positive associations between psychosocial stress and allergic diseases.
In this thematic series, we present the latest findings on these associations, and the discussions on the potential mechanism whereby stress affects allergic reaction. We also suggest some important future investigations.
The editor declares no competing interests.