Study discloses older adults with asthma were at higher risk for depression during the COVID-19 pandemic


eMediNexus    20 January 2023

A recent prospective study of nearly 2,000 older Canadians, published in the journal Respiratory Medicine, found that older adults with asthma had an increased chance of developing depression during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The statistics for older persons with asthma who had previously had depression were very concerning, with around half of them reporting a return of the illness in the fall of 2020, much higher than recurrence rates among their contemporaries without asthma. Loneliness was associated with significantly higher risks of depression.


The study included 2,017 asthmatic adults from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), who provided information during the pandemic, during the baseline wave (2011-2015), and the follow-up 1 wave (2015-2018), and during the pandemic (September-December 2020).


This study was able to distinguish between individuals with a pre-pandemic history of depression (n=770) and those who had never had depression before the pandemic (n=1247) among the 2,017 respondents with asthma by using longitudinal data.


Despite individuals with a history of depression having the highest risk, 1 in 7 respondents without a history of depression before the pandemic had depression in the fall of 2020. By autumn 2020, it was found that respondents with asthma who saw an increase in family conflict during the pandemic would also be more likely to develop depression. The researchers also discovered that depression among those with asthma was linked to a loss of income or inability to obtain food or supplies during the epidemic.


Experts stated that it′s critical for clinicians and healthcare workers to check for depressive symptoms in their asthma patients, especially in individuals who haven′t previously displayed any signs of depression. These results can guide targeted screening and referral to effective therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy for older persons with asthma who are depressed.


(Source: https://theprint.in/health/older-people-with-asthma-at-higher-risk-for-depression-during-covid-pandemic-study/1324546/)

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