The relationship between asthma and depression in a community-based sample

Mahima Akula, Alexandra Kulikova, David A. Khan, E. Sherwood Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: Asthma is an increasingly prevalent disease that is associated with substantial physical and financial burdens. Additionally, asthma is linked to psychiatric disorders. This study examines the relationship between asthma diagnosis, current depressive symptoms, and lifetime psychiatric disorder history in a large, community-based sample. Methods: We analyzed data from 2168 participants in the Dallas Heart Study, a large, diverse, community-based sample of people designed to be representative of the Dallas County population. Logistic regressions analyzing the relationship between asthma diagnosis and history of a psychiatric disorder, as well as between asthma diagnosis and the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (QIDS) scores were performed, controlling for demographic data. Results: 13.4% of the sample had an asthma diagnosis. Asthma diagnosis was significantly associated with a history of nervous, emotional, or mental health disorder diagnosis [OR 1.810 (95% CI 1.280–2.559) p = 0.001], and with QIDS scores consistent with moderate or greater current depressive symptom severity [OR 1.586 (95%CI 1.106–2.274) p = 0.012]. The relationships were not moderated by age, gender, race, smoking status, or Body Mass Index. Conclusions: A diagnosis of asthma may be associated with current clinically significant levels of depressive symptoms and a lifetime psychiatric disorder. The current report adds to the existing literature in this area by assessing both current and lifetime symptoms and by using a large and diverse population. The findings highlight the clinical importance of considering the possibility of psychiatric illness in asthma patients and suggest further research in this area is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1271-1277
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2 2018


  • Management/control
  • morbidity and mortality
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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