Impact of anxiety and depression on disease control and quality of life in asthma patients

J Asthma. 2012 Mar;49(2):201-8. doi: 10.3109/02770903.2011.654022. Epub 2012 Feb 7.


Introduction: Patients with asthma also tend to have anxiety and depression. These comorbidities may affect asthma control and quality of life. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of anxiety and depression on asthma control and quality of life.

Patients and methods: Cross-sectional study of asthma outpatients was conducted at two hospitals in the Basque Country (northern Spain). Data collected included sociodemographic variables, asthma symptoms, treatment, number of exacerbations, level of control, quality of life, presence of psychological morbidities, and level of physical activity. Spirometry was performed in accordance with the recommendations of the Spanish Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery.

Results: Among 354 asthmatics, 77% had poor or partial control of their condition, 31% had anxiety alone, 2% had depression alone, and 10% had anxiety plus depression. Poor asthma control was associated with anxiety plus depression (odds ratio (OR): 3.61; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.05-12.41) as well as with female patients (OR: 1.85; 95% CI: 1.11-3.10). Anxiety had an independent effect on reduced quality of life across all domains; anxiety plus depression had an even greater effect.

Conclusion: Among patients with asthma, anxiety and depression adversely affect asthma control and quality of life, raising the possibility that treating these psychological comorbidities could improve asthma control and quality of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / physiopathology*
  • Asthma / psychology*
  • Asthma / therapy
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*