Background. It has been suggested that severe COPD is associated with depressive symptoms, possibly linked to exacerbations, dyspnea and hospitalisation. However, scarce data are available in primary care where most patients suffer from mild or moderate disease. Objective. We aimed to reveal associations of depressive symptoms with demographic and clinical characteristics in mild to moderate COPD. Methods. Cross-sectional data on lung function measurements, exacerbation frequency, dyspnea, comorbidity, smoking behaviour, body mass index (BMI), age, gender and depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory) of 147 primary care patients were assessed in multiple logistic regression analyses. Results. Patients suffered from mild to moderate obstruction (FEV1 63.6% pred, range 45.1% to 82.1%). Female gender (OR 4.8, 95% CI 2.1 to 10.8), BMI > 25 (OR 0.4, 95% CI 0.2 to 0.8) and current smoking (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.01 to 5.3) were univariately associated with depressive symptoms, while in a multivariate logistic model only female gender (OR 4.0, 95% CI 1.6 to 9.9), BMI > 25 (OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.1 to 0.7) and dyspnea (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.9) were independently associated with depressive symptoms. Conclusion. These data suggest that in primary care depressive symptoms in COPD seem to be related with female gender, BMI and dyspnea. In this study, lung function, exacerbation rate, smoking behaviour, age and comorbidity are not independently associated with depressive symptoms in COPD of mild to moderate severity.
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