June 13, 2018
Major depressive disorder (MDD) prevalence among individuals with epilepsy who are managed in epilepsy clinics is estimated to be over 20% and is higher among women than among men, according to a recent study.
Comorbid depression in patients with epilepsy may have a negative impact on treatment outcomes and quality of life. Associated effects include irritability, fatigue, and thoughts of suicide. Authors of the study published in Epilepsy & Behavior performed a meta-analysis to estimate the prevalence of MDD in people with epilepsy who are treated at epilepsy clinics (2018;84:56-69).
After screening and rescreening compiled data, 35 studies from 1996 to 2017 were included in the analysis and included a total of 5434 patients with epilepsy. The most commonly used method for the diagnosis of MDD among the studies was the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Inventory (27 of 35 studies), followed by the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition axis I disorders (6 of 35 studies) and the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (2 of 35 studies).
The point prevalence of MDD was 25.6% (95% CI, 21.6-30.2) in Africa, 21.4% (95% CI, 19.5-23.5) in Asia, 23.1% (95% CI, 18.5-28.4) in Australia, 22.7% (95% CI, 20.7-24.0) in Europe, 15.9% (95% CI, 13.5-18.6) in North America, and 24.9% (95% CI, 21.3-28.8) in South America.
The prevalence of MDD among individuals with epilepsy was found to be 21.9%, and prevalence was higher among men than women. Authors feel that this relatively high prevalence rate points to a need for measures to identify and resolve MDD in individuals with epilepsy, with special attention paid to women.
—Amanda Del Signore
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