Young IBD Patients at High Risk of Developing Anxiety, Depression, Researchers Say

Young IBD Patients at High Risk of Developing Anxiety, Depression, Researchers Say
Young people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) — especially women and those with active disease — are at greater risk of developing anxiety and depression, a Dutch study shows. These results support the need for regular psychological screening in these vulnerable patients to treat these conditions early. The study, “Clinical disease activity is associated with anxiety and depressive symptoms in adolescents and young adults with inflammatory bowel disease,” was published in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. Patients with IBD, consisting mainly of those with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, have been found to have higher rates of depression and anxiety, compared to the general population. These emotional states greatly affect a person’s quality of life, and are often associated with poor treatment compliance in IBD patients. This is even more pronounced in young patients, who are at a phase of significant psychological, cognitive, and physical challenges. Young people with IBD were found to be particularly at risk for these psychological problems, with a reported frequency rate of 20‐50% for anxiety and and 25-40% for depression. IBD patients may enter a vicious cycle, where anxiety and/or depression can lead to intestinal inflammation and disease relapse, which in turn feeds those emotional problems. Therefore, it is important to identify IBD patients at greater risk of anxiety and depression so that appropriate treatment and support can be provided, which is expected to improve patients’ quality of life and decrease IBD-related mortality. Researchers evaluated the frequency of, and risk factors for, anxiety and depressive symptoms in 374 IBD patients, including adolescents (ages 10-17), and youn
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