The study, “Depression, Anxiety, and Emergency Department Use for Asthma,” in the October 2019 Pediatrics, found that children with asthma who also have depression or depression and anxiety are twice as likely to need Emergency Department (ED) services for their asthma. The study, which is published online on Sept. 25, looked at over 65,000 patients with asthma, ages 6 to 21 years, and found not only do these mental health issues correlate to double the number of ED visits—which are preventable, costly and can indicate the child had a dangerous asthma attack—but also that children with asthma are much more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. Of the children with asthma studied, 25% had anxiety or depression or both, which is above normal rates for these diseases (only up to 8% of teens are depressed). Researchers concluded that asthma, depression and anxiety all require careful attention to manage and the burden of multiple chronic diseases may result in the increased number of ED visits, but that more research is needed to determine if intensive management and care coordination for pediatric asthma patients with anxiety and/or depression might reduce this increased dependence on ED care.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds