Psychological distress, even at low or moderate levels, increases the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, researchers have found.

This finding was reported in the study, “The effects of psychological distress and its interaction with socioeconomic position on risk of developing four chronic diseases,” published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research.

It has been suggested that clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental health symptoms are important contributors in the development of a variety of chronic diseases. However, it remains unclear to what extent less severe psychological issues may have an impact.