UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The incidence of depression and anxiety in patients with ankylosing spondylitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis Park, Jamie Y.; Howren, Alyssa M.; Zusman, Enav Z.; Esdaile, John; De Vera, Mary


Background: As awareness for the importance of mental health continues to expand in rheumatology, it is important to understand the epidemiology of psychiatric complications in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) with the ultimate goal of future prevention and improved quality of care. This study aims to review evidence on the incidence and determinants of depression and/or anxiety among patients with AS. Methods: We searched Medline, Embase, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, CINAHL Complete, and PsycINFO for full-length observational studies that involved a sample or population of patients with AS and assessed depression and/or anxiety. Primary outcomes extracted were: 1) risk estimates for depression and/or anxiety (e.g., relative risk [RR]); and 2) determinants or factors identified as independent predictors of depression and/or anxiety using multivariable regression approaches and corresponding estimates (e.g., odds ratios [OR]). Where relevant, we pooled estimates using random effects models. Results: Out of 783 titles from our search strategy, we reviewed 39 manuscripts. Four studies assessed the incidence of depression and meta-analyzing reported estimates from three of these studies yielded a pooled RR of 1.51 (95% CI 1.28 to 1.79). Differences in risk of depression among men and women with AS were inconclusive, suggesting need for further study. The incidence of anxiety was comparatively less studied with only one included study reporting a hazard ratio of 1.85 (95% CI 1.37 to 2.49). Education level was a key determinant, with lower levels associated with higher odds of depression (OR 6.65; 9% CI 1.36 to 32.51) and anxiety (OR 9.31; 9% CI 1.39 to 62.19) among AS patients. Conclusions: Our systematic review and meta-analysis shows an increased risk of depression and anxiety among patients with AS. These findings suggest the importance of monitoring and care for psychiatric conditions in AS.

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