New research indicates that new-onset and persistent depression are common among patients with COPD, particularly in women and those with a history of stroke.

Close to one in four patients had depressive symptoms lasting at least 3 years in an analysis of data on close to 1,600 participants in the longitudinal ECLIPSE study, designed to examine COPD progression.

Depression was also associated with worse COPD outcomes, including increased risk for disease exacerbation and worsening performance on the 6-minute walk test, according to Abebaw Yohannes, PhD, of Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK, and colleagues. Their study is published in the January issue of Chest.

Yohannes told MedPage Today that as many as 40% of COPD patients develop clinically significant depression that interferes with their daily activities and can negatively impact the course of their disease.

“I have had patients tell me they feel like their life ended when they received their COPD diagnosis,” Yohannes said. “They often feel hopeless.”

Earlier studies by Yohannes and others have shown depression to be associated with lack of adherence to medical treatments, more frequent hospital admissions, and increased incidence of exacerbations in patients with COPD.

Get the full story at