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Over the years, numerous studies on COPD and depression have shown that patients with the chronic breathing disorder COPD tend to be more prone to becoming clinically depressed than individuals with other common chronic conditions.
With COPD and depression, COPD, known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a disorder which makes it difficult for its sufferers to breathe. It may often bring about cases of coughing fits, which in turn produce massive quantities of mucus, wheezing, breathing problems and chest tightness.
Excessive smoking is recognized as the leading cause of COPD.
The other half of COPD and depression is depression, which is recognized as a despondency and dejection that carries with it feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness.
Last year, researchers from the University Nijmegen Medical Center in the Netherlands conducted extensive research on the link between COPD and depression.
"The relationship between depression and COPD was described before, but what this study adds is that we found a temporal relationship. In other words, COPD did lead to a higher risk for a diagnosis of depression," said Lisette van den Bemt from Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, The Netherlands.
"It seems that the increased risk of depression is not the result from having a chronic disease in general but is specific for COPD," she said.
In their final report on COPD and depression, they also noted "is a well-established phenomenon that was found in 85 percent of the patients with COPD in this study but did not result in higher risk for depression in patients with COPD compared to healthy control subjects and diabetes mellitus patients."
"Patients with COPD have a higher probability of a first episode of depression at any time...compared to patients with diabetes mellitus and control subjects," the researchers note.
"Especially since there are treatment options for depression, and reduced mood and emotional functioning can enhance dyspnea (difficulty breathing) -- one of the key symptoms of COPD."
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