COPD raises risk of depression: study

By Megan Rauscher

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Patients with the chronic breathing disorder COPD appear to have a significantly higher risk of becoming clinically depressed than healthy individuals and patients with another common chronic condition - diabetes.

“The relationship between depression and COPD was described before, but what this study adds is that we found a temporal relationship. In other words, COPD did lead to a higher risk for a diagnosis of depression,” said Lisette van den Bemt from Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, The Netherlands.

“It seems that the increased risk of depression is not the result from having a chronic disease in general but is specific for COPD,” she and her colleagues note in the current issue of the medical journal Chest.

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. COPD can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD.

In their study, van den Bemt’s team compared the risk of an initial diagnosis of depression in 999 patients with COPD, 978 with diabetes, and 2494 matched control subjects without chronic health conditions.

In total, 5.5 percent of the overall population of patients with COPD or diabetes could not be included in the study because of an existing history of depression.

According to the investigators, the risk of a first diagnosis of depression was significantly higher in the COPD patients than in the control patients.

Co-existing illness, they note, “is a well-established phenomenon that was found in 85 percent of the patients with COPD in this study but did not result in higher risk for depression in patients with COPD compared to healthy control subjects and diabetes mellitus patients.”

“Patients with COPD have a higher probability of a first episode of depression at any time…compared to patients with diabetes mellitus and control subjects,” the researchers note.

Doctors, van den Bemt told Reuters Health, need to be aware of the higher risk of depression in patients with COPD. “Especially since there are treatment options for depression, and reduced mood and emotional functioning can enhance dyspnea (difficulty breathing) — one of the key symptoms of COPD,” she said.

SOURCE: Chest, January 2009.


Related Posts:

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Stomach acid reflux or heartburn may be a particular problem for people with breathing problems such as emphysema or bronchitis, known generally as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, researchers report. However, the reverse doesn’t seem to be the case, according to a study investigating the relationship between the two conditions. For

Full Post: COPD may trigger acid reflux problems

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - There is no link between drinking alcohol and the likelihood of worsening chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, according to a study of patients seen at Veteran Affairs hospitals. COPD includes conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. “While tobacco consumption has a well-established role in COPD-related morbidity, relatively less is

Full Post: Alcohol doesn’t worsen chronic lung conditions

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Results of a study conducted in the Asia-Pacific region suggest that men with COPD are more likely to die or be hospitalized than women with COPD. COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. COPD can cause coughing that produces large amounts of

Full Post: More men than women die of COPD, study hints

By Megan Rauscher NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Depression and the chronic pain syndrome fibromyalgia are common in patients who suffer from chronic Lyme disease and seem to correlate with poor functional outcomes, results of a study indicate. The term chronic Lyme disease describes patients with persistent Lyme disease despite prior treatment with a conventional 2- to

Full Post: Depression, pain may accompany chronic Lyme disease

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Computed tomography (CT) of the chest can serve a dual purpose in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), measuring both the severity of emphysema and vertebral bone density, physicians in Japan report. Many features besides the lung are associated with COPD, indicating it is a systemic disease, Dr. Toyohiro Hirai

Full Post: CT imaging useful to measure bone loss in COPD

Site Navigation

Most Read