Background: Youths with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at risk for developing anxiety and depressive symptoms with a reported 20%-50% prevalence rate. Aims: This prospective study aimed to: (1) describe the prevalence and severity of anxiety and depressive symptoms in a large Dutch cohort of young IBD patients, and (2) identify demographic and clinical risk factors for anxiety and depression. Methods: IBD patients (n = 374; 10-25 years) were screened for anxiety, depression and quality of life using validated age-specific questionnaires. Patients with elevated scores for anxiety and/or depressive symptoms received a diagnostic interview assessing psychiatric disorders. Demographic and clinical characteristics were retrieved from medical charts. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to identify risk factors for anxiety and/or depression. Results: Patients (mean age 18.9 years, 44.1% male, Crohn's disease 60.4%) had disease in remission (75.4%), or mild, moderate and severe clinical disease activity in, respectively, 19.8%, 2.7% and 2.1%. Mild anxiety/depressive symptoms were present in 35.2% and severe symptoms in 12.4% of patients. Elevated symptoms of either anxiety (28.3%), depression (2.9%) or both (15.8%) were found and did not differ between adolescents (10-17 years) and young adults (18-25 years). Active disease significantly predicted depressive symptoms (odds ratio (OR): 4.6 [95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.4-8.8], P < 0.001). Female gender (OR: 1.7 [95% CI: 1.1-2.7]), active disease (OR: 1.9 [95% CI: 1.1-3.2]) and a shorter disease duration (OR: 1.3 [95% CI: 0.6-1.0) (all P < 0.025) significantly predicted anxiety and/or depressive symptoms. Conclusions: Considering the high prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms, psychological screening is recommended in young IBD patients. Screening facilitates early recognition and psychological treatment. Female patients and patients with active disease are the most vulnerable.

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Journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
van den Brink, G.R, Stapersma, L. (L.), Vlug, L.E. (L. E.), Rizopolous, D. (D.), Bodelier, A, Van Wering, H, … Escher, J.C. (2018). Clinical disease activity is associated with anxiety and depressive symptoms in adolescents and young adults with inflammatory bowel disease. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 48(3), 358–369. doi:10.1111/apt.14832