Idiopathic intracranial hypertension: relationship to depression, anxiety, and quality of life

Neurology. 2000 Jan 25;54(2):319-24. doi: 10.1212/wnl.54.2.319.


Objective: To explore the incidence of depression and anxiety and to measure quality of life in women with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), a matched group cross-sectional study was conducted. Women with IIH (n = 28) were compared with control groups of weight- and age-matched women not diagnosed with IIH (n = 30) and with age-matched women of normal weight (n = 30).

Methods: Eighty-eight women completed a questionnaire soliciting health information and standardized questionnaires measuring depression, anxiety, and quality of life. The groups were compared using analysis of variance and chi2 tests. Where appropriate, post hoc comparisons were made using Fisher's test.

Results: Patients with IIH reported a greater number of adverse health problems than either of the control groups. Non-health-related psychosocial concerns were equally prevalent among the three groups, but IIH patients were significantly more affected by hardships associated with health problems than the other two groups. The patient group also had higher levels of depression and anxiety than the control groups. These adverse health conditions were reflected in decreased quality of life measures for the IIH patients.

Conclusions: This study supports previous reports that link obesity and psychosocial difficulties, but obesity alone is not the explanation for the higher levels of depression and lower levels of quality of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Headache / physiopathology
  • Headache / psychology
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intracranial Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Intracranial Hypertension / etiology
  • Intracranial Hypertension / psychology*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Papilledema / physiopathology
  • Papilledema / psychology
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / physiopathology
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / psychology
  • Quality of Life*
  • Vision, Low / physiopathology
  • Vision, Low / psychology