New Zealand’s asthma rates and immune system problems aren’t ‘psychological’

Matthew Wright

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of asthma in the world, and a good deal of research has been done locally to find out why.

Wright_StonesRecently it appeared that tests run on asthmatics and non-asthmatics show much the same response to specific inflammatory markers, therefore asthma can’t be due to allergy and must be psychological. Yup, apparently everybody who spends their lives struggling to breathe around privet hedges, dust, pollen and so forth can rest assured: SCIENCE has proven it’s their own fault for choosing to be psychologically weak and not having strength of character.

Setting aside the likelihood of the tests being based on a false premise – they’re not testing the actual causes – the main problem, as always, is the philosophy. To me, one of the flaws in medical thinking in general is an inability to capture a complex raft of factors, fuelled…

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