Asthma and Major Depressive Episode in Adolescents in France.

J Asthma. 2011 May 25 Delmas MC, Guignon N, Chan Chee C, Fuhrman C, Herbet JB, Gonzalez L. Institut de Veille Sanitaire , Saint-Maurice , France .

Rationale: The association between asthma and anxiety disorders in teenagers is well documented, but data about the association with mood disorders are scarce.

Methods: We analyzed data from a cross-sectional study conducted among ninth grade schoolchildren in France in 2003-2004. The teenagers were selected by two-stage sampling and interviewed by school doctors/nurses using a standardized questionnaire including questions about asthma and asthma-like symptoms. They also completed a self-administered questionnaire in which the occurrence of major depressive episodes (MDEs) during the past 12 months was assessed by the Composite International Diagnostic Interview-Short Form.

Results: A total of 7000 teenagers (mean age 15.1 years) were included. The prevalence of wheezing in the past 12 months was 10.0% and that of current asthma (wheezing in the past 12 months in children who had already had asthma attacks, or treatment for wheezing or asthma in the past 12 months) was 8.5%. The prevalence of MDE during the past year was 14.2% in teenagers with current asthma versus 9.2% among the others. The association between current asthma and past-year MDE remained significant after adjustment for age, gender, family structure, and the father's employment status. Asthma was uncontrolled (at least four attacks of wheezing, one awakening per week due to wheezing, one severe wheezing, four unplanned medical visits, or one hospitalization for a wheezing attack in the past year) in more than half (58.3%) of asthmatic teenagers with an MDE in the past year versus 35.3% of those without an MDE.

Conclusion: Asthma is associated with a higher prevalence of MDE. Among adolescents with asthma, MDE is associated with poorer asthma control. These findings highlight the need for a comprehensive care management of asthma in France that takes the psychological dimension into account.

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