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.