Mental health should not be overlookedin patients with asthma. Previousresearch has shown a strongconnection between depressive disordersand asthma. The currentstudy, reported in Chest (December2004), aimed to examine the linkbetween depressive symptoms andasthma-related risk behaviors inadults with the disease. Researchersfrom the Centers for Disease Controland Prevention analyzed survey datafrom noninstitutionalized adults livingin the United States. Data from15,080 adults with asthma wereincluded in the analysis.
The results of the study demonstratedthat 19% of adults with asthmahad frequent mental distress.Mental distress was defined as mentalhealth being reported by the participantsas not good on at least 14 ofthe last 30 days. (In a different analysis,the occurrence of frequent mentaldistress among individuals withoutasthma was 9.3%.)
The study also indicated that thepresence of recurrent mental distressincreased the odds of smoking andphysical inactivity by 90% and 70%,respectively. Patients experiencingfrequent mental distress were moreapt to report fair/good health, frequentactivity limitations, and frequent anxiety,compared with their peers withoutfrequent mental distress.