New diagnosis of asthma and mental health service claims

This is a Canadian study from 2017. [1] The objective of this study was to quantify the impact of mental disorders on the adult asthma population and compare the risk of mental health service claims (MHSCs) in the 1 year before and 1 year after asthma diagnosis. Ontario residents aged 25 to 65 years with incident physician-diagnosed asthma between April 1, 2005, and March 31, 2012, were included. MHSCs, which consisted of hospitalizations, emergency department (ED), and outpatient physician visits, were identified from universal health administrative data.

A total of 145,881 adults with asthma were included. In the 1 year after asthma diagnosis, 27% had an MHSC. The risk of ED visits for any mental disorders increased by 13% in the 1 year after asthma diagnosis compared with the 1 year before (adjusted RR [aRR], 1.13; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-1.21). This increased risk of ED visits was not found when comparing 2 years after asthma diagnosis with 2 years before. The risk for outpatient physician visits for substance-related disorders increased by 21% at 1 year (aRR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.14-1.28) and 37% at 2 years (aRR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.28-1.46).

The authors conclude that the significant comorbid burden of mental disorders in adults with newly diagnosed asthma highlights the need for physicians to assess mental health.

1          To T, Ryckman K, Zhu J, et al. Mental Health Services Claims and Adult Onset Asthma in Ontario, Canada. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2017;5:1388-1393.e3. doi:10.1016/j.jaip.2017.02.016