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The bidirectional risk of inflammatory bowel disease and anxiety or depression

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

The bidirectional risk of inflammatory bowel disease and anxiety or depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Tania H. Bisgaard, Kristine H. Allin, Rahma Elmahdi, Tine Jess

Published on Gen Hosp Psychiatry, May 2023

Abstract Objective: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with anxiety and depression, but the magnitude and directionality of risk remains uncertain. This study quantifies the risk of anxiety or depression following a diagnosis of IBD, and the risk of IBD in individuals with anxiety or depression, using population representative data.

Method: We performed a systematic literature search using MEDLINE and Embase and included unselected cohort studies reporting risk of anxiety or depression in patients with IBD or risk of IBD in patients with anxiety or depression. We undertook Random Effect Model meta-analysis to calculate pooled Hazard Ratios (HR) for the risk of anxiety and depression in IBD and subgroup meta-analysis to calculate risk by IBD subtype and in pediatric-onset IBD.

Results: Nine studies were included; seven of which examined incidence of anxiety or depression among a total of >150,000 IBD patients. Meta-analysis showed an increased risk of both anxiety (HR: 1.48, 95% CI: 1.29–1.70) and depression (HR: 1.55, 95% CI: 1.35–1.78) following IBD diagnosis. Two studies investigating >400,000 individuals with depression showed a 2-fold increased risk of IBD.

Conclusions: The bidirectional association between IBD and anxiety and depression is clinically relevant and could indicate shared or mutually dependent disease mechanisms.


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