Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Linked to Depression

Large-scale study finds patients with the disease at a higher risk of developing depression
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be at an increased risk of developing depression, according to a study in the February issue of Chest.

Cornelia Schneider, of the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland, and colleagues conducted a population-based study of 35,722 patients with COPD and 35,722 patients without COPD, and a nested case-control analysis that matched each case patient with up to four patients who did not develop depression.

Compared to COPD-free patients, the researchers found that depression prevalence among COPD patients before a first COPD diagnosis was significantly higher (23.1 versus 16.8 percent). In addition, the incidence rate of new-onset depression after a first COPD diagnosis was significantly higher (16.2 versus 9.4 per 1,000 person-years). The nested case-control analysis showed the risk of depression was highest in patients with severe COPD (odds ratio, 2.01).

"The relative risk of developing depression tended to be higher in men than in women, and the risk of dying within the first year after a depression diagnosis among patients with COPD also tended to be higher among men than among women," the authors conclude. "Whether this reflects a real difference in mortality or a difference in the timing of diagnosis and therefore in the severity of the disease across genders may be addressed in the future by additional observational studies."

The study was supported by Nycomed GmbH. One author reported employment at the company at the time of the study.

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