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Associations between depression and anxiety index and frequency of acute exacerbation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

BACKGROUND: Comorbidities of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) influence clinical characteristics and prognosis.

OBJECTIVES: This study compared the clinical characteristics and exacerbation rate of COPD according to the presence of depression or anxiety.

DESIGN: This study used data from The Korea COPD Subgroup Study (KOCOSS) cohort, a nationwide prospective cohort from 54 medical centers, between April 2012 and 2019.

METHODS: Depression and anxiety were diagnosed with the Beck Depression Inventory and Beck Anxiety Inventory. Negative binomial regression analysis was performed to analyze the frequency of exacerbations in depressed patients and anxiety. Differences in lung function trajectory according to presence of depression/anxiety were analyzed using a linear mixed model.

RESULTS: In all, 2147 patients were enrolled. Depressed patients or anxiety had lower lung function, higher modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) grade, St. George Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) score, and COPD assessment test score, and higher rates of exacerbation in the past year than those without depression/anxiety. Depressed patients had a higher frequency of moderate to severe exacerbations [Incidence Rate Ratio (IRR): 1.57, CI: 1.17-2.11, p  = 0.002] and those with anxiety had higher frequencies of moderate to severe (IRR: 1.52, CI: 1.03-2.27, p  = 0.038) and severe exacerbations (IRR: 2.13, CI: 1.09-4.15, p  = 0.025) during 1-year follow-up compared to those without these comorbidities. The differences in the change in annual forced expiratory volume in 1 seconds (FEV1 ) over 3 years according to the presence of depression or anxiety were not statistically significant.

CONCLUSION: Depressed and anxious patients showed increased respiratory symptoms and exacerbation rate as well as reduced health-related quality of life, whereas there were no significant differences in changes in lung function between groups with and without depression/anxiety.

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