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People With Asthma More Likely to Be Depressed
Date:3/4/2010

Study finds rates of psychological distress twice as high in those with airway disease,,,,

THURSDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- Asthma may affect more than your ability to breathe, it may also make you more prone to developing psychological problems, new research suggests.

People with asthma are more than twice as likely to have depression or anxiety as people who don't have the chronic airway disease, according to a report in the March issue of the journal Chest.

To make matters worse, the study authors found that when rates of serious psychological distress went up, health-related quality-of-life scores went down.

"The prevalence of serious psychological distress was 2.5 times higher among adults with asthma, and as serious psychological distress increased, health-related quality went down. So, asthma makes quality of life worse and serious psychological distress makes quality of life worse, and together they synergistically make quality of life even worse," said study senior author Dr. David Callahan, a medical epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Public Health Service in Atlanta.

Study author Emeka Oraka said these findings may apply to other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, and that serious psychological distress may make it harder for people to manage these diseases properly.

"Any kind of mental distress impedes your ability to manage the disease well, whether it's asthma, diabetes or something else," said Oraka, who's an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education fellow at the CDC.

Oraka noted that the findings should raise a red flag for clinicians. "Serious psychological distress is a powerful predictor of quality of life, and even more so in the presence of chronic illness," he said. "Don't disregard the importance of mental health in the quality of life of patients with chronic illness."

For the study, the
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