Inflammation is associated with depression in COPD patients

May 21, 2013

Depression is common in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and has been linked with disease severity and impaired quality of life. Now, for the first time, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have linked the systemic inflammation associated with COPD with depression in these patients.

"Systemic inflammation is thought to be an important mediator of comorbidities in COPD, but the relationship between inflammation and depression has not been explored," said researcher Hilary Strollo, M.S., a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and . "In our study, we found a strong association between depressive symptoms and levels of the inflammatory biomarker interleukin-6 (IL-6) which was independent of the severity of ."

The study results will be presented at the ATS 2013 International Conference in Philadelphia.

The study included 450 tobacco-exposed patients. Assessment included the (BDI), the Saint George Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), and the UCSD Shortness of Breath Questionnaire (SOBQ). Spirometry and multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) of the chest were also performed.

Of 235 male patients enrolled, 37 were depressed, and of 215 females, 49 were depressed. Clinical and biological variables that were found to be significantly associated with depression included the forced expiratory volume or FEV1, a measure of the maximum amount of air that can be exhaled in one second, gender, IL-6 levels, SGRQ Total Score, UCSD SOBQ Total Score, Visual Emphysema Score, and current smoking status.

The strongest associations were seen between depressive symptoms and FEV1, followed by female gender, current smoking status and increased IL-6.

"Depression has been linked with a number of symptoms and comorbidities in COPD patients," said Ms. Strollo. "Our findings add evidence of a strong relationship between depression and one of the hallmarks of COPD, , independent of the severity of disease."

"The assessment and treatment of depression should be part of the routine care of COPD patients."

Explore further: Assessment of COPD exacerbation severity with the COPD Assessment Test

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Monkeys in Asia harbor virus from humans, other species

November 19, 2015

When it comes to spreading viruses, bats are thought to be among the worst. Now a new study of nearly 900 nonhuman primates in Bangladesh and Cambodia shows that macaques harbor more diverse astroviruses, which can cause ...

One-step test for hepatitis C virus infection developed

November 14, 2015

UC Irvine Health researchers have developed a cost-effective one-step test that screens, detects and confirms hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. Dr. Ke-Qin Hu, director of hepatology services, will present findings at the ...

Computer model reveals deadly route of Ebola outbreak

November 10, 2015

Using a novel statistical model, a research team led by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health mapped the spread of the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, providing the most detailed picture to date ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.