Depression Associated With COPD Meds Nonadherence

HealthDay News — In older adults, depression is associated with decreased adherence to maintenance medication regimens for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Jennifer S. Albrecht, PhD, from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the impact of depression on COPD maintenance medication adherence among a sample of Medicare beneficiaries newly diagnosed with COPD between 2006 and 2010. Adherence to COPD maintenance medication was modeled as a function of new episodes of depression. Data were included for 31 033 beneficiaries meeting inclusion criteria, of whom 20% were diagnosed with depression after diagnosis of COPD.

The researchers found that there was low average monthly adherence to COPD maintenance medications, which peaked at 57% in the month after first fill and declined to 35% within 6 months. Depression correlated with decreased adherence to COPD maintenance medications in an adjusted regression model (odds ratio, 0.93; 95% confidence interval, 0.89 to 0.98).

“Clinicians who treat older adults with COPD should be aware of the development of depression, especially during the first six months following COPD diagnosis, and monitor patients’ adherence to prescribed COPD medications to ensure best clinical outcomes,” the authors write.

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Albrecht JS, Park Y, Hur P, et al. Adherence to maintenance medications among older adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: the role of depression. Annals ATS. 2016. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201602-136OC.