Studies have found that depression is more frequent in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) than the general population.
Clinicians are now trying to pinpoint risk factors for psychological impairment in the IBD population.
Dr Sussman and colleagues from Florida, USA examined the demographic and phenotypic variables associated with the development of depression among a diverse cohort of IBD patients.
The researchers also sought to describe psychotropic therapy prescribed to IBD patients.
The team conducted a retrospective cohort study including patients with Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) without a prior psychiatric diagnosis, and followed in the gastroenterology clinics of the private university hospital and public safety net hospital at a large academic centre in Miami (Florida).
Predictive variables included demographic characteristics, IBD phenotype, exposure to IBD medications, history of a surgical stoma or seton placement, extra-intestinal manifestations, laboratory indices, aggressive disease and disease activity.
Proportional hazard regression models and stepwise Cox regression analysis were used for statistical analysis.
The research team found that independent predictors of depression were female gender, aggressive disease, and active disease.
The team observed that in the group that did develop a depressive disorder, 65% received pharmacologic therapy with one or more psychotropic agents.
Dr Sussman's team comments, "We found female gender, aggressive disease and increased endoscopic/radiological activity to be independently associated with the development of depression in inflammatory bowel disease."