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Inflammatory bowel disease linked to depression

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Reuters Health

Thursday, September 4, 2008

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Rates of depression, and possibly some types of anxiety disorder, are high among people with inflammatory bowel disease or IBD -- conditions such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis -- Canadian researchers report.

"There is a relatively high incidence of anxiety and mood disorders in IBD," Dr. Charles N. Bernstein from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, told Reuters Health. "This needs to be addressed with all patients as readily as their arthritis or skin rashes need addressing."

Bernstein and colleagues in the Manitoba IBD Cohort Study assessed rates of anxiety and mood disorders in 351 patients with clearly established IBD, compared with 779 similar people surveyed in the same region, and with general populations in the United States and New Zealand.

Compared with the general populations, IBD patients had higher rates of panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and major depression, the researchers report in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

On the other hand, IBD patients were less likely to have social anxiety disorder or bipolar disorder than the general population.

When compared with people in the regional survey, IBD patients had similar rates of anxiety but nearly twice the rate of major depressive disorder.

"Almost one third of those who had an anxiety disorder or mood disorder had new onset around the time of IBD diagnosis," Bernstein said.

Except for social anxiety disorder, any of the anxiety or mood disorders was associated with significantly lower quality of life, the investigators say.

"We are continuing to explore the interplay between anxiety, mood disorders, and stress and their impact on IBD incidence and flare of IBD once diagnosed," Bernstein added. "Further, we are exploring the impact of IBD on psychiatric outcomes."

SOURCE: American Journal of Gastroenterology, August 2008.

Reuters Health

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