Chronic respiratory disease and high altitude are associated with depressive symptoms in four diverse settings

S. Zaeh, C. H. Miele, Nirupama Putcha, Robert H Gilman, J. J. Miranda, A. Bernabe-Ortiz, Robert A Wise, William Checkley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


SETTING: Depression is a prevalent comorbidity of chronic respiratory disease (CRD), and may indicate worse clinical outcomes. The relationship between depression and living with chronic hypoxia due to CRD or residence at altitude has received little attention in resource-poor settings. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between CRD conditions and depressive symptoms in four settings in Peru. DESIGN: We collected data on CRD and depressive symptoms in adults aged ≥35 years. Depressive symptoms were measured according to the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale. Multivariable ordinal logistic regression was used to assess the adjusted odds of being in a higher category of depressive symptoms as a function of CRD. RESULTS: We analyzed data from 2953 participants (mean age 55.3 years, 49% male). The prevalence of major depressive symptoms was 19%, with significant variation according to setting. Participants with at least one CRD (OR 1.34, 95%CI 1.06-1.69) and those living at altitude (OR 1.64, 95%CI 1.10-2.43) had an increased adjusted odds of being in a higher category of depressive symptoms. CONCLUSION: We found a high prevalence of depressive symptoms, and a positive association between depressive symptoms with CRD and with living at altitude, both of which cause chronic hypoxia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016



  • Altitude
  • Asthma
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic hypoxia
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases

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