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Depression Common in Patients with Chronic Cough

Over half of patients evaluated for chronic cough have depressive symptoms

FRIDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians and caregivers should be aware of the significant risk of clinical depression in patients with chronic cough, researchers report in the December issue of Chest.

Peter Dicpinigaitis, M.D., from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues conducted a prospective, non-randomized evaluation of patients seeking treatment for chronic cough to determine the prevalence of depressive symptomatology in this group.

The investigators found that 53 of 100 patients scored positive on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale exam, with a mean score of 18.3. Both cough and depressive symptoms improved during a three-month follow-up and were significantly correlated with each other.

"Clinicians should exercise judgment in deciding whether appropriate mental health referral is necessary, regardless of the outcome of treatment for chronic cough," the authors conclude.

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