Swedish national population-based study shows an increased risk of depression among patients with Hirschsprung disease

Acta Paediatr. 2019 Oct;108(10):1867-1870. doi: 10.1111/apa.14801. Epub 2019 Apr 15.


Aim: Hirschsprung disease is usually treated during infancy. The long-term impact on mental health has not been well studied. The aim of this study was to assess the risk for depressive disorders in individuals with Hirschsprung disease.

Methods: This was a nationwide, population-based cohort study. The study exposure was Hirschsprung disease and the study outcome was depression. The exposed cohort included all individuals with Hirschsprung disease, registered in the Swedish National Patient Register between 1964 and 2013 and the unexposed cohort included ten age- and sex-matched controls per patient. The diagnosis of depression was confirmed by diagnosis in the Swedish National Patient Register.

Results: The cohort included 739 (76.5% males) individuals with Hirschsprung disease and 7390 (76.5% males) controls. Among the patients with Hirschsprung disease, 35 (4.7%) of the patients had had a depressive disorder and 187 (2.5%) of controls, hazard ratio 1.98, 95% confidence interval 1.38-2.84. The mean age at diagnosis of first depression was 21.9 years (SD ± 7) in Hirschsprung disease patients and 23.4 years (SD ± 7), p = 0.236 in the unexposed group. There were no significant gender differences.

Conclusion: We found an increased risk of having depressive disorders among individuals with Hirschsprung disease compared to controls.

Keywords: Depression; Epidemiology; Follow-up; Hirschsprung disease; Long-term.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology*
  • Female
  • Hirschsprung Disease / complications
  • Hirschsprung Disease / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Young Adult