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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2014 May;112(5):432-6. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2014.02.015. Epub 2014 Mar 18.

Asthma and depression: the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study.

Author information

  • 1Allergy and Immunology Division, Department of Internal Medicine, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.
  • 2The Cooper Institute, Dallas, Texas.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.
  • 4Department of Psychology, Queens College, and The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY), Flushing, New York; Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University, New York, New York.
  • 5Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas. Electronic address: sherwood.brown@utsouthwestern.edu.



Prior research suggests a possible association between asthma and depression.


To examine the association between asthma and depressive symptoms, controlling for asthma medications, lung function, and overall health.


We conducted a cross-sectional study of 12,944 adults who completed physician-based preventive health examinations at the Cooper Clinic from 2000 to 2012. Information on medical histories, including asthma and depression, and medications were collected. Participants reported overall health status, completed spirometry testing, and underwent depression screening using the 10-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Dependent variables of current depressive symptoms (CES-D scores ≥10) and lifetime history of depression were separately modeled using logistic regression with independent variables, including demographics, spirometry, asthma controller medications, and patient-reported health status.


The sample was predominantly white and well educated. The prevalence of asthma was 9.0%. Asthma was associated with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.41 (95% CI, 1.16-1.70; P < .001) of current depressive symptoms based on CES-D score. Asthma was also associated with lifetime history of depression (OR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.40-1.95; P < .001). Neither lung function nor asthma controller medications were significantly associated with depression.


Asthma was associated with increased prevalence of current depressive symptoms and lifetime depression in a large sample of relatively healthy adults. These findings suggest that the increased likelihood of depression among patients with asthma does not appear to be exclusively related to severe or poorly controlled asthma. People with asthma, regardless of severity, may benefit from depression screening in clinical settings.

Copyright © 2014 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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