Anxiety and depression in the acute porphyrias

J Inherit Metab Dis. 2005;28(6):1099-107. doi: 10.1007/s10545-005-4561-1.


A previous study of self-rated psychosocial aspects in patients with acute porphyria found that depression, and particularly anxiety, is more common in porphyria patients than in the general population or general medical outpatient attenders. Nearly half of the sample (46%) reported at least some problem with anxiety and/or depression: anxiety caseness was 26% and depression caseness was 13%. This paper extends our previous observations and investigates further the associations between porphyria and anxiety, depression and general mental health in 90 patients (58 acute intermittent porphyria, 32 variegate porphyria). The findings of this study confirm that anxiety is raised in patients with acute intermittent porphyria and with variegate porphyria, in both males and females, compared to the normative population and, using a series of questionnaires exploring the physical and psychosocial features of anxiety, that this anxiety is experienced as a 'relatively stable personality trait', rather than a 'transitory emotional state' (i.e. intrinsic rather than secondary to the porphyria).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Porphyrias / complications*
  • Porphyrias / diagnosis
  • Porphyrias / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires