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Most Older Adults With COPD Are Doing Well Mentally

Being married, having a confidant associated with better mental health with COPD

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Dec. 16, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The majority of older adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are mentally flourishing, according to a study published online Dec. 6 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Sally Abudiab and Esme Fuller-Thomson, Ph.D., M.S.W., both from the University of Toronto, assessed the mental health of 703 older adults with COPD (aged 50 years and older), compared with 10,189 peers without COPD, and sought to identify factors associated with complete mental health.

The researchers observed a significantly lower prevalence of absence of psychiatric disorders (86.7 versus 95.0 percent) and complete mental health (66.7 versus 77.0 percent) among those with COPD versus those without. Absence of psychiatric disorders and having complete mental health with COPD were significantly associated with being married, having a confidant, being physically active, and having no lifetime history of major depressive disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. The odds of the absence of psychiatric disorder declined by 31 percent for every additional adverse childhood experience.

“These findings underline the importance of targeted interventions and outreach to those most vulnerable to poorer mental health outcomes including the socially isolated,” the authors write.

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