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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2011;13(1):7-23.

Epidemiology and treatment of depression in patients with chronic medical illness.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington 98195-6560, USA. wkaton@u.washington.edu

Abstract

There is a bidirectional relationship between depression and chronic medical disorders. The adverse health risk behaviors and psychobiological changes associated with depression increase the risk for chronic medical disorders, and biological changes and complications associated with chronic medical disorders may precipitate depressive episodes. Comorbid depression is associated with increased medical symptom burden, functional impairment, medical costs, poor adherence to self-care regimens, and increased risk of morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic medical disorders. Depression may worsen the course of medical disorders because of its effect on proinflammatory factors, hypothalamic-pituitary axis, autonomic nervous system, and metabolic factors, in addition to being associated with a higher risk of obesity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and poor adherence to medical regimens. Both evidence-based psychotherapies and antidepressant medication are efficacious treatments for depression. Collaborative depression care has been shown to be an effective way to deliver these treatments to large primary care populations with depression and chronic medical illness.

PMID:
21485743
PMCID:
PMC3181964
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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