Introduction: Depression is frequent in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients. However, epidemiological data about the potential increase in risk are lacking. This study compares the rate of doctor-diagnosed depression in a well defined cohort of AS patients to the general population seeking care. Methods: The Skane Healthcare Register comprises healthcare data of each resident in Region Skane, Sweden (population 1.2 million), including ICD-10 diagnoses. Using physician coded consultation data from years 1999 to 2011, we calculated depression consultation rates for all AS patients. We obtained standardized depression-rate ratios by dividing the observed depression rate in AS patients by the expected rate based on the corresponding age-and sex-specific rates of depression in the general population seeking care. A ratio > 1 equals a higher rate of depression among AS patients. Results: The AS cohort consisted of 1738 subjects (65% men) with a mean age of 54 years. The reference population consisted of 967,012 subjects. During the 13-year observation period 10% (n = 172) of the AS cohort had a doctor-diagnosed depression compared to 6% (n = 105) to be expected. The standardized estimate of depression-rate ratio was 1.81 (95% confidence interval 1.44 to 2.24) in women men and 1.49 (1.20 to 1.89) in men. Conclusions: The rate of doctor-diagnosed depression is increased about 80% in female and 50% in male AS patients. Future challenges are to timely identify and treat the AS patients who suffer from depression.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Rheumatology and Autoimmunity