Background: Anxiety and depression are common psychological disturbances among asthmatic patients. The aim of the present study is the assessment of anxiety and depression in asthmatic patients and their correlation with symptoms control level and number of exacerbations per year. Methods: One hundred patients with asthma diagnosis, according to the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), aged > 18 years old, having a stable disease, were included. Emotional status was evaluated using the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS). Patients were followed up for a year to assess the number and severity of exacerbations. Results: Most of our patients were female (58%), middle-aged (mean = 54 ± 13), and married (81%), with low frequency of smoking habits (smokers, ex-smokers and non-smokers were 26%, 30% and 37%, respectively) and low levels of both anxiety and depression [median (interquartile range (IQR)) = 4(2) and median (IQR) = 4(2), respectively]. At the low and moderate level of the depression subscale, female patients experienced asthma exacerbations more frequently compared to male patients (adjusted Incidence Rate Ratio (aIRR) = 4.30; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.94-9.53 and aIRR = 1.82; 95% CI: 1.07-3.13, respectively). Conclusions. Clinicians should evaluate asthma patients for depression, as gender differentially influences outcomes among those with low and moderate levels of depression, with female asthmatics presenting more frequent exacerbations.
Keywords: anxiety; asthma; control; depression; exacerbations; gender.