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Depressed often have physical problems

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind., Sep 08, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- An Indiana University study suggests depressed patients may need treatment for physical problems, as well as emotional symptoms.

Headache, back pain, stomach problems, joint or muscle pains, and dizziness are nearly as common in patients being treated for depression as are emotional symptoms, said the study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

"It is important to ask patients with depression about physical symptoms at the start of treatment. And, when assessing improvement, (physicians should) ask about physical as well as emotional symptoms," said study author Dr. Kurt Kroenke, professor of medicine at Indiana University.

The study of patients undergoing antidepressant treatment for nine months examined the prevalence, impact on quality of life, and outcome of physical symptoms.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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