[Chronic asthma, depressive symptoms and risk behaviors: results from a national health survey].

Aviva Goral*, Joshua D. Lipsitz, K. Muhsen, Raz Gross

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research suggests that depression is common in individuals with asthma. Research on the association between depressive symptoms and health-related risk behaviors in persons with respiratory disorders is scarce. To assess the association between asthma and depressive symptoms; and to evaluate the relationship between depressive symptoms and risk behaviors (smoking, physical inactivity and obesity) in individuals with asthma. We analyzed data from the Israeli National Health Interview Survey [INHIS-1), conducted on a large sample (N = 9,509) of the adult Israeli population (age > or = 21 years) in 2003-4. Data on socio-demographic factors, chronic respiratory conditions, depressive symptoms and risk behaviors were obtained through telephone interviews. Analyses were performed using adjusted Logistic regression models. A total of 381 participants (4.0%) reported chronic asthma in the year previous to the interview. Of those, 15.5% had moderate depressive symptoms compared with 7.2% of participants with no respiratory conditions (odds ratio, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.40-2.72; P < .0001). Depressive symptoms in individuals with asthma were significantly associated with smoking (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 3.31; 95% CI, 1.58-6.91; P = .001 for moderate depressive symptoms; AOR 1.91; 95% CI, 1.05-3.45; P = .03 for mild depressive symptoms); moderate but not mild depressive symptoms were significantly associated with physical inactivity (AOR, 3.05; 95% CI, 1.52-6.12; P = .002). These associations were stronger in females. Depressive symptoms were not associated with obesity. Among Israelis with chronic asthma, depressive symptoms are associated with important differences in health behaviors (higher rates of smoking and lack of physical activity) which may impact on the course of respiratory illness and on overall health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-446, 491
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011


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