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Like many chronic lung disease patients, those with non cystic bronchiectasis, are also at a higher risk of depression and anxiety, according to recent research.

The study, “Factors related to depression and anxiety in adults with bronchiectasis,” is published in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment.

As a chronic disease, bronchiectasis affects a person’s ability to exercise and can make daily living activities more difficult, two factors that can lead to clinically relevant depression and anxiety.

Researchers led by Elif Niksarlioglu with the Department of Chest Disease, Yedikule Chest Disease and Thoracic Surgery Training and Research Hospital, in Istanbul, Turkey, examined depression and anxiety and related factors in 133 adult patients with non cystic bronchiectasis. All patients were diagnosed with high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT).

Patients who had their disease clinically stable over the previous four weeks were assessed with the Hospital Depression and Anxiety scale, a standardized and widely used measure of depression and anxiety. The researchers recorded patient symptoms, pulmonary function tests, and medical treatments.

Results showed that 21.1 percent of all patients taking part in the study had depression, and 39.8 percent had anxiety.

Depression was associated to family situation (living with a partner), previous history of depression, and being admitted to an emergency department within the last year. Anxiety was associated to living with a partner, female gender, previous depression history, and past-year emergency hospital admission.

Further analysis showed that depression was strongly associated with living with a partner, hemoptysis (coughing up blood), and recent admission to an emergency department, while anxiety was associated with living with partner, education level, previous clinical history of depression, and recent hospital admission.

“Untreated and undetected depressive and anxiety symptoms may increase physical disability, morbidity, and health care utilization. Future research is needed to address the impact, early detection, and management of anxiety and depression from bronchiectasis,” the researchers concluded.

Bronchiectasis is an irreversible, abnormal dilatation of one or more bronchi, with chronic airway inflammation that causes chronic cough, sputum production, recurrent chest infection, and airflow obstruction. Its estimated prevalence is 53 cases per 100,000 adults, and this prevalence increases with age. The disease more commonly afflicts women.

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