Anxiety and depression disorders in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension and chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension

Respir Res. 2013 Oct 9;14(1):104. doi: 10.1186/1465-9921-14-104.


Background: The objective of this prospective study was to assess the prevalence of anxiety and depression disorders and their association with quality of life (QoL), clinical parameters and survival in patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH).

Methods: We prospectively assessed 158 patients invasively diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension (n = 138) and inoperable chronic thromboembolic PH (n = 20) by clinical measures including quality of life (QoL, SF-36 questionnaire), cardiopulmonary exercise testing and six minute walking distance and by questionnaires for depression (PHQ-9) and anxiety (GAD-7). According to the results of the clinical examination and the questionnaires for mental disorders (MD) patients were classified into two groups, 1) with moderate to severe MD (n = 36, 22,8%), and 2) with mild or no MD (n = 122). Patients were followed for a median of 2.7 years. Investigators of QoL, SF-36 were blinded to the clinical data.

Results: At baseline the 2 groups did not differ in their severity of PH or exercise capacity. Patients with moderate to severe MD (group 1) had a significantly lower QoL shown in all subscales of SF-36 (p < 0.002). QoL impairment significantly correlated with the severity of depression (p < 0.001) and anxiety (p < 0.05). During follow-up period 32 patients died and 3 were lost to follow-up. There was no significant difference between groups regarding survival. Only 8% of the patients with MD received psychopharmacological treatment.

Conclusion: Anxiety and depression were frequently diagnosed in our patients and significantly correlated with quality of life, but not with long term survival. Further prospective studies are needed to confirm the results.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Anxiety / mortality
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / mortality
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Familial Primary Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / etiology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / mortality
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Embolism / complications
  • Pulmonary Embolism / mortality
  • Pulmonary Embolism / psychology*
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survival Rate