COPD and depressive symptoms: findings from the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Adrian Loerbroks
  • Chao Qiang Jiang
  • Wei Sen Zhang
  • Tai Hing Lam

Colleges, School and Institutes


BACKGROUND: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) co-exists with depression, but important questions remain about the determinants of this association.

PURPOSE: We examined the association of depressive symptoms with three aspects of COPD: self-reports of physician-diagnosed COPD, chronic respiratory symptoms, and airway obstruction.

METHODS: We used data from the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study (n = 7,995). Airway obstruction was assessed by spirometry. A score ≥4 on the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale was used as a cutoff for depressive symptoms.

RESULTS: Self-reported COPD was positively associated with depressive symptoms but airway obstruction was not. Compared to those free of both respiratory symptoms and airway obstruction those reporting respiratory symptoms were more likely to have depressive symptoms regardless of whether they had obstruction or not.

CONCLUSIONS: In this Chinese population, a self-reported physician diagnosis of COPD and symptom perception, but not airway obstruction, appeared as main determinants of depressive symptoms.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-15
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Aged, China, Cohort Studies, Depression, Female, Health Surveys, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Psychometrics, Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive, Quality of Life, Self Report, Smoking