Symptoms of anxiety, depression higher in ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis patients suffer from higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms, a recent study has found. In addition, disease activity seems to be a good predictor of the severity of these symptoms.
Researchers conducted a cross-sectional assessment of 70 ulcerative colitis patients (mean age 39.3 years, 68.6 percent women), in whom the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) and Patient Health Questionniare-9 (PHQ-9) inventories were used to evaluate symptoms of anxiety and depression, respectively. The Partial Mayo scoring system was used to measure disease severity.
The mean GAD-7 score was 8.63, with 65.7 percent (n=46) of participants scoring above the normal threshold for anxiety symptoms. In particular, 18.6 percent (n=13) and 25.7 percent (n=18) of participants had severe and moderate anxiety symptoms.
Meanwhile, the average PHQ-9 score was 6.87, with 58.6 percent (n=41) of participants showing symptoms of depression. One patient (1.4 percent) had severe depressive symptoms, while the prevalence rates of moderate and moderately severe symptoms were 22.9 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.
Spearman’s rho test was used to assess the link between mental health symptoms and patient-reported disease activity. Researchers found that higher disease activity was moderately correlated with more severe depressive symptoms (r, 0.361; p=0.01). Anxiety, on the other hand, was also significantly but weakly correlated with disease activity (r, 0.252; p=0.035).