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Depression impairs asthma-related quality of life

Written by: Staff

NEW YORK, Oct 28 (Reuters) Depression and anxiety disorders are both associated with worse quality of life because of asthma, but only depressive disorders are associated with worse asthma control, the results of a study in the journal Chest indicate.

Dr Kim L Lavoie, of the University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada, and colleagues examined the relative impact of having a depressive disorder or an anxiety disorder in 504 adults with asthma.

The participants completed a psychiatric interview using the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders. The Asthma Control Questionnaire and the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire were also used. Standard lung function tests were performed in all subjects.

Overall, 31 per cent of patients met the diagnostic criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder. Twelve per cent of patients had an anxiety disorder only, and 8 per cent had a depressive disorder only. Eleven per cent had both anxiety and depressive disorders.

''Our main finding was that having either a depressive or anxiety disorder was associated with worse asthma-related quality of life, but only depressive disorders were associated with worse asthma control levels,'' Lavoie told Reuters Health.

''These findings were observed independent of age, sex, and asthma severity,'' the researcher continued. ''This means that the worse asthma control and quality of life observed in patients with...depressive and anxiety disorders were not simply due to greater asthma severity.'' The researcher noted that if depressed patients with asthma are at greater risk for worse asthma control, they could be targeted for more intensive asthma treatment, as well as additional psychotherapeutic or behavioral interventions to improve their depression.

''There are several symptoms of depressive disorders -- e g, fatigue, lack of energy, and decreased interest in daily activities that may include self-management of chronic asthma -- that may make them less likely to adhere to daily medication regimens ... which we know has a huge impact on control,'' Lavoie commented.

Therefore, detection and treatment of psychiatric disorders in asthma patients ''may have implications for both mental and physical health.'' REUTERS DKA VV0905

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