Depression and anxiety are both fairly common comorbidities among patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Results from a recent study published in PLoS One suggest that depression and anxiety affect quality of life (QoL) significantly in persons with IPF.

The study population comprised a prospective cohort of 112 patients from Korea who had IPF, all of whom had completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) questionnaire. Symptoms of depression and anxiety were reported in 25.9% and 21.4% of participants with IPF, respectively (HADS scores ≥8). 

There were no significant differences observed between patients with IPF and depression or anxiety and those individuals without depression or anxiety with respect to demographic data, age, sex, smoking status, Modified Medical Research Council Dyspnea Scale scores, pulmonary function tests, or Gender-Age-Physiology Index for IPF. In patients with IPF who had anxiety, however, scores on the St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire were significantly higher than scores of patients with IPF without anxiety (40.5 vs 23.5; P =.003). Survival rates and total number of hospital admissions did not differ significantly between patients with IPF and depression or anxiety and those individuals without.

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The researchers concluded that depression and anxiety are common in Asian patients with IPF, which is similar to findings from studies conducted in Western countries. The presence of depression or anxiety in these patients had a significant impact on their QoL, underscoring the need for improved detection and treatment of these conditions in this population. Additional prospective studies are warranted to explore the effects of antidepressants and anxiolytics on QoL, and to establish the prognostic significance of symptoms of depression and anxiety in patients with IPF.


Lee YJ, Choi SM, Lee YJ, et al. Clinical impact of depression and anxiety in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. PLoS One. 2017;12(9):e0184300.

This article originally appeared on Pulmonology Advisor