New episodes of depression among Medicare beneficiaries with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Jennifer S. Albrecht, Ting Ying Huang, Yujin Park, Patricia Langenberg, Ilene Harris, Giora Netzer, Susan W. Lehmann, Bilal Khokhar, Linda Simoni-Wastila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objectives Depression is a common comorbidity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and is associated with increased exacerbations, healthcare utilization, and mortality. Among Medicare beneficiaries newly diagnosed with COPD, the objectives of this study were to (1) estimate the rate of new episodes of depression and (2) identify factors associated with depression. Methods We identified beneficiaries with a first diagnosis of COPD during 2006-2012 using a 5% random sample of Medicare administrative claims data by searching for ICD-9-CM codes 490, 491.x, 492.x, 494.x, or 496. We identified episodes of depression using ICD-9-CM codes 296.2x, 296.3x, and 311.xx. We calculated incidence rates and their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) and used a discrete time analysis to identify factors associated with development of depression. Results Between 2006 and 2012, 125,348 beneficiaries meeting inclusion criteria were newly diagnosed with COPD. Twenty-three percent developed depression following COPD diagnosis. The annualized incidence rate of depression per 100 beneficiaries following COPD diagnosis was 9.4 (95% CI 9.3, 9.5). Rates were highest in the first 2 months following COPD diagnosis. COPD diagnosis was associated with increased risk of depression (risk ratio 1.76; 95% CI 1.73, 1.79) as were COPD-related hospitalizations (risk ratio 4.59; 95% CI 4.09, 5.15), a measure of COPD severity. Conclusions Diagnosis of COPD increases the risk of depression. This study will aid in the allocation of resources to monitor and provide support for individuals with COPD at high risk of developing depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-449
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of geriatric psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Medicare beneficiaries
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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