COPD increases risk of incident depression

January 01, 0001

COPD increases risk of incident depression

An elevated risk of depression has been linked to a variety of chronic illnesses. These Swiss, American, and German researchers performed a large population-based study on the risk of developing depression in association with a previous COPD diagnosis. They utilized the UK-based General Practice Research Database to compare the prevalence of a history of depression and to quantify the risk of developing incident depression in patients with and without COPD. They also used a nested case-control analysis to examine the effects of the severity of the COPD on this risk.

The researchers report: "In a study population of 35,722 patients with COPD and 35,722 patients without COPD, the prevalence of diagnosed depression prior to the first COPD diagnosis was higher in the population with COPD (23.1%) than among patients without COPD (16.8%). The incidence rate of a new-onset diagnosis of depression after the first COPD diagnosis was 16.2/1,000 person-years (py) in the COPD group, whereas it was only 9.4/1,000 py in the COPD-free comparison group. In the nested case-control analysis, patients with severe COPD had the highest risk of developing depression (odds ratio, 2.01)."

The authors concluded: "This large observational study provides further evidence that patients with COPD are at an increased risk of developing depression."

The presented case-control study found an increased risk of depression in patients with COPD, especially in those with severe symptoms, stressing the importance of maintaining a high index of suspicion regarding depression in these patients.

For the full abstract, click here.

Chest 137(2:341-347, February 2010
© 2010 The American College of Chest Physicians
COPD and the Risk of Depression. Cornelia Schneider, Susan S. Jick, Ulrich Bothner, and Christoph R. Meier. Correspondence to Christoph Meier: [email protected]

Category: P. Psychological, R. Respiratory. Keywords: COPD, depression, case-control study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 12 March 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.