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Psychiatric comorbidities in patients with inflammatory bowel disease

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Psychiatric comorbidities are associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We conducted an observational study to evaluate the prevalence of depression and anxiety in patients with IBD.


Seventy consecutive consenting patients with IBD (62 ulcerative colitis [UC], 8 Crohn’s disease [CD]; 40 males, mean age [SD] 36.2 [11.3] years) and 100 healthy volunteers (44 males, age 31.22 [SD] [10.5] years) as controls were enrolled. All participants were directed to take self-assessment tests, Patient Health Questionnaire -9 (PHQ-9) and Symptom Checklist Anxiety Scale (SCL-A20). Participants having a score ≥ 10 on PHQ-9, or ≥ 29 on SCL-A20 were administered the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) or Hamilton Anxiety (HAM-A) scales, respectively. The severity of depression and anxiety was graded with HAM-D and HAM-A scales, respectively. The protocol was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee.


The prevalence of depression (34.3% vs. 5%, p < 0.0001, OR 9.7) and anxiety (18.6% vs. 2%, p = 0.0002, OR 11.17) was higher in patients with IBD as compared to controls. The severity of depression was higher in patients compared to controls (mean rank 17 vs. 7, p = 0.04). The prevalence of depression was not different between UC and CD; all IBD patients with anxiety had UC. The mean duration of disease and history of corticosteroid treatment or surgery for IBD were not associated with the presence of depression or anxiety. Patients with severe CD (Crohn’s disease activity index, CDAI > 450) had more severe depression. The severity of UC did not correlate with severity of anxiety or depression in UC.


Anxiety and depression are more prevalent in IBD patients as compared to healthy individuals.

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Correspondence to Sangeet Sawrav.

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RB, SS, SA, RS, and SJB declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Written informed consent was taken from all the subjects.

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The authors declare that the study was performed in a manner to conform to the Helsinki Declaration of 1975 as revised in 2000 and 2008 concerning human and animal rights, and the authors followed the policy concerning informed consent as shown on


The authors are solely responsible for the findings and the content of the paper. In no way, the Honorary Editor-in-Chief, Editorial Board members, or the printer/publishers are responsible for the results/findings and content of this article.

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Bhamre, R., Sawrav, S., Adarkar, S. et al. Psychiatric comorbidities in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Indian J Gastroenterol 37, 307–312 (2018).

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