Purpose: To determine the prevalence of anxiety and depressive disorders in youth with asthma compared with a control sample of youth and to determine the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics associated with having one or more anxiety/depressive disorders among youth with asthma.
Methods: A telephone interview was offered to all youth aged 11-17 years with asthma (N = 781) and a random sample of similar aged controls (N = 598) enrolled in a Health Maintenance Organization. The C-DISC-4.0 was used to diagnose anxiety and depressive disorders and reliable and valid questionnaires were used to assess severity of anxiety and depressive symptoms. Automated diagnostic, pharmacy and health use data were used to measure asthma treatment intensity, asthma severity and nonasthmatic medical comorbidity. One parent was interviewed to assess sociodemographic variables, child/adolescent psychiatric symptoms and to confirm the asthma diagnosis.
Results: In all, 16.3% of youth with asthma compared with 8.6% of youth without asthma met DSM-IV criteria for one or more anxiety and depressive disorders (OR = 1.92, 95% CI = 1.13-3.28). Independent factors associated with a significantly higher likelihood of meeting criteria for one or more anxiety or depressive disorders included female gender [OR = 1.96 (95% CI = 1.27, 3.03)], living in a single-parent household, [OR = 1.96 (95% CI = 1.26, 3.07)], more parent-reported externalizing behaviors [OR = 1.03 (95% CI = 1.01, 1.05)], more recent diagnosis of asthma [OR = 0.94 (95% CI = 0.89, 0.98)], and more impairment on the asthma physical health scale [OR = 0.95 (95% CI = 0.94, 0.96)].
Conclusions: Youth with asthma have an almost twofold higher prevalence of comorbid DSM-IV anxiety and depressive disorders compared with control youth. Clinical factors associated with meeting criteria for one or more anxiety and depressive included more recent asthma diagnosis, more impairment on the asthma physical health scale, and increased externalizing behaviors.