Every fourth COPD patient suffers from depression: Study

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New York, May 4 (IANS) One in four patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) — a progressive condition that makes it hard to breathe — suffers from depressive symptoms, and if not treated, those symptoms can have a negative effect on their overall health and treatment effectiveness, according to two new studies.

One study from Manchester Metropolitan University in Britain analysed three-year data obtained from patients with COPD.

The study showed that one in four patients with COPD had persistent depressive symptoms over three years.

The odds of new onset depression increased with worse health status and moderate-to-severe breathlessness.

Those with persistent or new-onset depression experience more exacerbations of COPD and more pronounced loss in performance, the findings showed.

COPD exacerbations cause frequent hospital admissions, relapses and readmissions; contribute to death during hospitalisations or shortly thereafter; dramatically reduce the quality of life; consume financial resources; and hasten a progressive decline in pulmonary function, a cardinal feature of COPD, the study said.

A second study from the University of Texas in the US analysed data from a random sample of five percent of Medicare (US national insurance programme) beneficiaries diagnosed with COPD between 2001 and 2011 and found that 22.3 percent of those patients had one or more psychological disorders.

The study showed that the odds of 30-day readmission were higher in patients with COPD who had depression, anxiety, psychosis, alcohol abuse and drug abuse compared with those who did not have these disorders.

The findings of both the studies were published in the journal CHEST.

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