2018 Volume 57 Issue 14 Pages 1967-1975
Objective Whether or not depression affects the control or severity of asthma is unclear. We performed a cluster analysis of asthma patients with depressive symptoms to clarify their characteristics.
Methods Multiple medical institutions in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, were surveyed in 2014. We recorded the age, disease duration, body mass index (BMI), medications, and surveyed asthma control status and severity, as well as depressive symptoms and adherence to treatment using questionnaires. A hierarchical cluster analysis was performed on the group of patients assessed as having depression.
Results Of 2,273 patients, 128 were assessed as being positive for depressive symptoms [DS(+)]. Thirty-three were excluded because of missing data, and the remaining 95 DS[+] patients were classified into 3 clusters (A, B, and C). The patients in cluster A (n=19) were elderly, had severe, poorly controlled asthma, and demonstrated possible adherence barriers; those in cluster B (n=26) were elderly with a low BMI and had no significant adherence barriers but had severe, poorly controlled asthma; and those in cluster C (n=50) were younger, with a high BMI, no significant adherence barriers, well-controlled asthma, and few were severely affected. The scores for depressive symptoms were not significantly different between clusters.
Conclusion About half of the patients in the DS[+] group had severe, poorly controlled asthma, and these clusters were able to be distinguished by their Adherence Starts with Knowledge (ASK)-12 score, which reflects adherence barriers. The control status and severity of asthma may also be related to the age, disease duration, and BMI in the DS[+] group.