Prevalence of mood and anxiety disorders in women with systemic lupus erythematosus

Arthritis Rheum. 2009 Jun 15;61(6):822-9. doi: 10.1002/art.24519.


Objective: To examine the lifetime prevalence of mood and anxiety disorders in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Demographic and disease-related variables were examined for association with lifetime major depressive disorder (MDD) and the presence of any mood or anxiety disorder.

Methods: Three hundred twenty-six white women with SLE completed the Composite International Diagnostic Interview and the Systemic Lupus Activity Questionnaire, a self-report measure of SLE disease activity. The binomial test was used to compare the prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses in patients with SLE with a population sample of white women.

Results: Sixty-five percent of the participants received a lifetime mood or anxiety diagnosis. MDD (47%), specific phobia (24%), panic disorder (16%), obsessive-compulsive disorder (9%), and bipolar I disorder (6%) were more common among patients with SLE than among other white women (P = 0.00009 for specific phobia; for all other values P = 0.00001). Although most patients with histories of mood disorders reported their psychiatric symptoms to a medical provider, a substantial number of patients with anxiety disorders did not. Self-reported disease activity was associated with a lifetime history of MDD (P = 0.001) and presence of a mood or anxiety disorder (P = 0.001), after controlling for demographic and clinical characteristics.

Conclusion: Several mood and anxiety disorders were more common in women with SLE compared with the general population, and disease activity may contribute to this higher risk. Brief self-report questionnaires may help providers identify patients with these conditions, particularly when patients are reluctant to disclose their symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / physiopathology
  • California / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / diagnosis
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / epidemiology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / physiopathology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Self-Examination
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult