Depression, Physical Impairment Common After Lung Injury

Highest incidence 3 months after acute lung injury; modal duration of more than 21 months

FRIDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- During the first two years after acute lung injury (ALI), incident depressive symptoms and physical impairment are common and long-lasting, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Oscar J. Bienvenu, M.D., Ph.D., from the the John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues investigated the two-year incidence and duration of depressive symptoms and physical impairment after ALI, together with the associated risk factors. A total of 186 ALI survivors from 13 intensive care units in four hospitals, were followed-up at three, six, 12, and 24 months after ALI. The main outcome measures were depressive symptoms (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale depression score of ≥8 for patients without a history of depression prior to ALI), and impaired physical function (at least two dependencies in instrumental activities of daily living in patients without baseline impairment).

The investigators found that depressive symptoms and impaired physical function had cumulative incidences of 40 and 66 percent, respectively, during two-years of follow up. The greatest incidence was by the three-month follow-up, and modal durations were more than 21 months for each outcome. Education for 12 years or less, baseline disability or unemployment, higher baseline medical comorbidity, and lower blood glucose in the intensive care unit were risk factors for incident depressive symptoms. Longer intensive care unit stay and prior depressive symptoms were risk factors for incident impaired physical function.

"Incident depressive symptoms and incident impaired physical function are common and long-lasting during the first two years after ALI," the authors write.

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