For the first time, a study has linked asthma in adults with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study of male twins who were veterans of the Vietnam War suggests that the association between asthma and PTSD is not primarily explained by genes. Does this mean that our Iraq War vets will come home not only deaf, but also asthmatic?

The study included over 3,000 male twins who had lived together in childhood, and who had both served on active military duty during the Vietnam War. The study found that among all of them, those who suffered from the most PTSD symptoms were twice as likely to have asthma, compared with those who suffered from the least PTSD symptoms.The study included both identical and fraternal twins. Researcher Renee D. Goodwin says, “If there had been a strong genetic component to the link between asthma and PTSD, the results between these two types of twins would have been different, but we didn’t find substantial differences between the two.”

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