Objective: To identify any association between asthma and depression and quality of life.
Design and setting: A face-to-face Health Omnibus Survey of a random and representative sample of the South Australian population in August 1998.
Participants: 3010 randomly selected participants aged 15 years and over.
Main outcome measures: Prevalence of doctor-diagnosed asthma, and scores for depression (measured by PRIME-MD instrument) and quality of life (measured by SF-36) in affected participants.
Results: The prevalence of asthma was 9.9%. The prevalence of major depression was significantly higher for those who experienced dyspnoea, wakening at night with asthma, and morning symptoms of asthma. Quality-of-life scores were also lower for the same groups.
Conclusions: Depression is a serious but potentially remediable comorbidity with asthma that may affect appropriate diagnosis and outcome.