Depression and anxiety in COPD – prevalence and patient characteristics in Sweden
Introduction: Depression and anxiety are important comorbidities in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) that increase the risk of morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence of depression and/or anxiety in COPD patients in Sweden, and to identify patient characteristics associated with comorbid depression and/or anxiety.
Methods: In total, 2245 randomly selected patients with COPD from 98 primary healthcare centres and 13 hospitals in Sweden were included. Information on patient characteristics, symptoms, and comorbidities, including depression and/or anxiety were collected using patient self-completion questionnaires.
Results: The self-reported prevalence of depression and/or anxiety was 23.3% (n=524), women 29.2% and men 15.8%. Patients with comorbid depression and/or anxiety had a lower mean age, slightly higher mean BMI, where less physically active, and current smoking was more common (Table 1). Comorbid depression and/or anxiety was associated with being female (OR =2.07 [95% CI 1.65-2.58]), age <65 years (OR = 1.78 [95% CI 1.41-2.24]), comorbid asthma (OR = 1.65 [95% CI 1.31 – 2.08]), current smoking (OR=1.91 [95% CI 1.54-2.39]), and mMRC ≥2 (OR 1.68 [95% CI 1.36 – 2.09]) (Adjusted odds ratios). Comorbid heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and educational level were not significantly associated with depression and/or anxiety.
Discussion: Our study shows that COPD patients in Sweden commonly suffer from symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. Characteristics associated with depression and/or anxiety were being female, younger age, comorbid asthma, current smoking and experiencing functional disability due to dyspnoea. Healthcare professionals should work proactively and be vigilant about clinical symptoms and signs of depression and/or anxiety in patients with COPD to enable best possible care.