BACKGROUND: Uranium workers risk experiencing dyspnea, a lung disease symptom. Previous studies found associations between dyspnea and depressive symptoms in lung disease, but this requires further study in occupational cohorts.
METHODS: This study evaluated the association between dyspnea and depressive symptoms in former uranium workers screened by New Mexico Radiation Exposure Screening & Education Program. Dyspnea and depressive symptoms were evaluated through questionnaires, Modified Medical Research Council Dyspnea Scale and a modified Patient Health Questionnaire-2, respectively. Logistic regression models were applied to cross-sectional analyses. Generalized linear models were applied to longitudinal analyses.
RESULTS: Cross-sectional analyses demonstrated higher dyspnea scores were associated with higher depressive symptom scores. Longitudinal analyses failed to demonstrate association between change in dyspnea scores and concurrent change in depressive symptom scores.
CONCLUSIONS: Lower dyspnea levels were common and depressive symptoms were not commonly reported. Workers reporting higher dyspnea levels were three times more likely to endorse depressive symptoms. Further longitudinal studies are necessary to understand the mechanisms between dyspnea and depressive symptoms in occupational cohorts at risk of developing lung disease.
Uranium, Lung Disease, Depression, Patient Health Questionnaire, Modified Medical Research Council Dyspnea Questionnaire, Screening and Surveillance
Level of Degree
Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program
First Committee Member (Chair)
Akshay Sood MD, MPH
Second Committee Member
Annette Crisanti PhD
Third Committee Member
Denece Kesler MD, MPH
Fourth Committee Member
Kevin Vlahovich MD, MS
Sharma, Shiva. "Association Between Self-Reported Dyspnea and Depressive Symptoms in New Mexico Uranium Workers." (2020). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/biom_etds/211