Depression Is More Common In Girls With Non-Atopic Asthma.

Chest. 2011 Apr 7. Bahreinian S, Ball GD, Colman I, Becker AB, Kozyrskyj AL. Dept Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

BACKGROUND: Asthma may increase the risk of comorbid depressive disorders in children. Overweight is more prevalent in children suffering from asthma or depression. We examined whether depression was more likely in children with atopic and non-atopic asthma, independent of abdominal adiposity.

METHODS: A cross sectional analysis was performed on data collected in the Study of Asthma, Genes and Environment in Canada. Children at 11-14 years were assessed by a pediatric allergist to confirm asthma, allergic rhinitis (AR) and atopic dermatitis (AD) diagnosis. Atopic asthma was defined based on skin prick testing and allergic asthma based on presence of AR or AD in addition to asthma. Depressive symptoms were assessed using children's depression inventory - short form. Data were analyzed using logistic regression modeling to determine likelihood of depression in asthmatic children, stratified by gender and adjusting for ethnicity, waist circumference (WC) and atopy.

RESULTS: 431 children at 11-14 years (136 asthmatics and 295 non asthmatics) were studied. After adjusting for the covariates, girls who had non-atopic or non-allergic asthma were 3 times more likely to have comorbid depressive symptoms compared to healthy girls (OR: 2.84, 95% CI 1.00- 8.10; OR: 3.47, 95% CI 1.30-9.25, respectively). For each 10 cm increase in WC of girls there was 39% to 56% increase in chance of depression in our models. In boys, neither asthma nor WC showed an association with depression.

CONCLUSIONS: We recommend all health practitioners who see asthmatic girls or girls who are overweight watch for depressive symptoms and treat comorbid depression seriously.

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