Antidepressant therapy may help COPD patients stop smoking

המידע באדיבות מדיקונטקסט
Last Updated: 2001-07-24 16:03:58 EDT (Reuters Health)

LONDON (Reuters Health) – Investigators in the Netherlands are investigating whether antidepressant therapy might be indicated in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).

"We know that COPD patients have trouble stopping smoking and one reason could be the prevalence of psychiatric disorders," Dr. Edwin J. Wagena, from Maastricht University, the Netherlands, told Reuters Health. "We also know that when people want to stop smoking, a history of major depression is an important predictor of success," he added.

Dr. Wagena and colleagues have been conducting a smoking cessation study among 12,000 Dutch men and women whom they have followed for 3 years. About 10% of this cohort has COPD, Dr. Wagena said.

Among the COPD patients, the researchers examined the prevalence of depression and anxiety. "We found," Dr. Wagena noted, "that COPD patients as a group have a high prevalence of psychiatric disorders. Maybe it is logical that COPD patients suffer from psychiatric disorders because of the physical impairment; however, nicotine itself may also play a part."

The researchers are investigating whether bupropion or nortriptyline use will help COPD patients stop smoking by relieving their psychiatric symptoms. The study rationale is described in more detail in an editorial by Dr. Wagena in the August issue of Thorax.

Dr. Wagena believes it is important to address the issue of psychiatric disorders in COPD patients as part of smoking cessation initiatives. "But also, from a holistic point of view, psychiatric problems of COPD patients should not be left in the background; they need to be focused on," he added.

"It is still too early to come up with conclusions," Dr. Wagena said, "because we are still looking at the relationship between COPD, smoking and depression, in the cohort, and we are looking at the efficacy of Zyban and nortriptyline. But I think that helping COPD patients with depression will help them stop smoking."

Thorax 2001;56:587-588.

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