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Anxiety Depression PTSD Common After Acute Lung Injury

More than half of survivors with any supra-threshold symptoms had co-occurrence of symptoms

FRIDAY, April 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Most acute lung injury (ALI) survivors have symptoms of general anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during 24 months of follow-up, according to a study published in the March issue of Critical Care Medicine.

O. Joseph Bienvenu, M.D., Ph.D., from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the co-occurrence and predictors of remission, general anxiety, depression, and PTSD in ALI survivors. Data were included for 520 patients from 13 medical and surgical intensive care units in four hospitals, who were followed for 24 months after ALI.

The researchers found that 274 patients died before three-month follow-up. The prevalence of supra-threshold general anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms ranged from 38 to 44 percent, 26 to 33 percent, and 22 to 24 percent, respectively, across follow-up time points. During two-year follow-up, more than half of patients had supra-threshold symptoms in at least one domain. Fifty-nine percent of survivors with supra-threshold symptoms were above threshold for two or more types of symptoms; the most common pattern involved concurrent general anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms. Most of those with symptoms during follow-up had supra-threshold symptoms at the 24-month follow-up. The likelihood of remission from general anxiety and PTSD symptoms was increased with higher Short-Form-36 physical functioning domain scores.

"The majority of ALI survivors had clinically significant general anxiety, depressive, or PTSD symptoms, and these symptoms tended to co-occur across domains," the authors write.

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