Prevalence of depressive symptoms among patients with a chronic nonspecific lung disease in five ethnic minority groups

Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2015 Nov-Dec;37(6):513-7. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2015.08.003. Epub 2015 Aug 20.


Objective: Earlier studies found chronic nonspecific lung disease (CNSLD) to be associated with depressive symptoms. We aimed to assess whether the association between CNSLD and depressive symptoms varies between ethnic groups.

Methods: We used questionnaire data from 10916 participants of the HELIUS study in Amsterdam from six different ethnic groups. We applied logistic regression analysis to determine the association between CNSLD and depressive symptoms and interaction terms to test whether this association varied between ethnic groups.

Results: CNSLD prevalence was higher among South-Asian Surinamese, Turkish and Moroccans (10.1% to 12.5%) than African Surinamese, Dutch and Ghanaians (4.8% to 6.3%). The prevalence of depressive symptoms was higher among participants with CNSLD (28.4% vs. 13.7%). This association was not significantly different between ethnic groups. The absolute prevalence of depressive symptoms was higher among the CNSLD patients from ethnic minority groups (19.2 % to 35.6%) as compared with the Dutch-origin majority group (11.2%).

Conclusions: CNSLD is associated with a high risk of depressive symptoms, especially among the five ethnic minority groups. These results imply a need to monitor the mental health of CNSLD patients in particular when a patient is from an ethnic minority group.

Keywords: Asthma; COPD; Depressive symptoms; Ethnic minority groups; HELIUS study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Africa / ethnology
  • Asia / ethnology
  • Depression / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / ethnology*
  • Lung Diseases / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minority Groups*
  • Netherlands / epidemiology