According to a new study, it doesn’t matter what country people are from, the results are the same: Asthma increases a patient’s chances of suffering from depression. In fact, the study, which was conducted by researchers monitoring people from 57 different countries, showed that a diagnosis of depression more than doubled in asthmatics when compared to those without asthma.
Even though other studies already linked asthma to depression, this study focused on more than just one area of interest (North America, Australia and Europe). The researchers for this study hoped to considered the fact that countries are so different in terms of asthma treatment, and overall health care, that results could be tainted.
“Despite a range of country differences that could affect the association of asthma with depression, the results of this study indicate that the co-occurrence of asthma and depression is a universal phenomenon,” the researchers wrote in the Aug. 9 issue of the International Journal of Epidemiology. “Moreover, the link appears to be strongest in non-Western countries.”
The results of this study are significant since asthmatics who suffer from depression are worse off health-wise because depending on how bad their asthma is, the patients are more likely to be hospitalized or die, say the researchers. The researchers do concede to the fact that asthmatics should be screened more for depression since its not yet known whether or not if treating depression with medications like Paxil or Effexor would do anything at all in terms of helping them with their asthma.
Both Paxil and Effexor are antidepressant medications that are used to treat depression and can be just as dangerous to the patients as the asthma. The drugs have been known to cause not only suicidal thoughts and behavior, but even violent thoughts and behavior. The pills can also cause babies born to women who take the drug while pregnant to be born with birth defects including PPHN, oral clefts, spina bifida and heart, lung and brain defects. With asthma being so dangerous to patients, adding dangerous antidepressant treatments like Paxil and Effexor could cause a death even if the asthma itself was under control.