TUESDAY, Oct. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Children with asthma and with anxiety, depression, or both have increased rates of asthma-related emergency department use, according to a study published online Sept. 25 in Pediatrics.

Naomi S. Bardach, M.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues examined the correlation between anxiety and depression with asthma-related emergency department use in children aged 6 to 21 years. Data were included for 65,342 patients with asthma; 24.7 percent had a diagnosis of anxiety, depression, or both (11.2, 5.8, and 7.7 percent, respectively).

The researchers found 17.1 asthma-related emergency department visits per 100 child-years. Patients with anxiety, depression, and both anxiety and depression had rates of 18.9, 21.7, and 27.6 emergency department visits per 100 child-years after controlling for age, sex, insurance type, and other chronic illnesses. Patients with no diagnosis of anxiety or depression had a rate of 15.5 visits per 100 child-years.

“Nearly one-quarter of children with asthma have such comorbidity, and those with increasing mental health complexity are at increasing risk,” the authors write. “Subsequent work can test whether more intensive management and care coordination for pediatric patients with asthma and comorbid anxiety and/or depression might reduce emergency department use.”

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