Objective: To determine the relationship between iron deficiency anemia and depressive disorder; and identify the correlation between severity of anemia and depressive disorder.
Study design: Descriptive, analytical study.
Place and duration of study: Department of Psychiatry and Medical Reception Center, Sindh Rangers Hospital, Karachi (a secondaryhealthcare facility), from January to July 2017.
Methodology: Depressive disorder was diagnosed by psychiatrist on ICD 10 criteria and severity of symptoms was assessed on HAM-D rating scale. Hundred cases and equal number of age and gender matched controls were enrolled in the study. A semi-structured proforma was used for documenting the socio-demographic factors and outcome variables. Blood samples were taken for Hemoglobin (Hb) level and peripheral film from both groups.
Results: Median Hb levels were 11.9 (IQR=1.27)) for depressed patients versus 12.9 (IQR=1.3) for healthy participants. Significant difference between Hb levels of two groups was found (p<0.001), i.e. depressed participants were found to have higher frequency of anemia (73%) as compared to non depressed participants (16%, p=0.001). Spearman rank correlation coefficient for Hb level and depression was -0.429 (p<0.01), showing significant negative correlation. The odds for Hb level were 0.487 (0.37-0.64), which showed that cases are less likely to be found with higher Hb levels as compared to controls (p<0.001).
Conclusion: This study concludes that there is relationship between iron deficiency anemia and depressive disorder; and severity of symptoms of DD increases with degree of IDA.