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The Devastating Effects Of
Depression When It Accompanies A Chronic Disease
edited by Joint-Pain-Forum.com
The damage that co-morbid depression has on a patient's health is greater than
that caused by such chronic illnesses as diabetes, angina, asthma and arthritis,
according to an article published in The Lancet. In other words,
depression with diabetes is more damaging than diabetes with angina or asthma or
Dr Somnath Chatterji, World Health Organisation (WHO),
Geneva, Switzerland and team looked at data on 245,404 people from the World
Health Survey (WHO). They discovered that the prevalence of a depressive episode
during the previous year was 3.2% - for diabetes this figure was 2%, for
arthritis 4.1%, for angina 5.4% and for asthma 3.3%.
They found that a
large number of people had one or more of these chronic diseases as well as
depression - between 9% to 23% of them.
They found that depression has
the largest effect on worsening health compared with the other listed chronic
illnesses, even after adjustments were made for socioeconomic factors and health
conditions. Depression, accompanied by one or more chronic disease(s) gave
patients the worst health scores - these scores did not alter much from country
to country around the globe.
www.Joint-Pain-Forum.com from original press release.
"The co-morbid state of depression incrementally worsens health compared with
depression alone, with any of the chronic diseases alone, and with any
combination of chronic diseases without depression. These results indicate the
urgency of addressing depression as a public health priority to reduce disease
burden and disability, and to improve the overall health of populations," the
An accompanying Comment pointed out that while 80% of
patients with arthritis and 90% of patients with asthma receive an acceptable
standard of care, the case is nowhere near the same for depression. "In
Australia, less than 30% of patients receive good treatment with
anti-depressants, cognitive behavioural therapy, and proactive maintenance care.
Perhaps differential access to treatment is one reason why disability is less
with the physical disorders. Treatment for depression should at least be on a
par with that for other chronic diseases." The Comment was written by Professor
Gavin Andrews and Dr Nickolai Titov, Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and
Depression, University of New South Wales at St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney,
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