Background: Psychic symptoms and depression have been reported in coeliac disease (CD). The aim of this study was to explore depression in a large cohort of adult CD patients.
Methods: Depressive symptoms were evaluated in 92 adult coeliacs, 100 normal controls (NC), and 48 chronic persistent hepatitis (CPH) patients by means of a modified version of the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (M-SDS). CD patients were evaluated for the level of knowledge about CD and the compliance with diet.
Results: The M-SDS score differentiated CD patients from NC. Age at diagnosis and duration of and compliance with diet did not correlate with depression. Three main factors could be identified with the M-SDS: 'reactiveness', 'pessimism', and 'anhedonic-asthenic'.
Conclusion: Depressive symptoms are a feature of CD; they are present to a similar extent in patients with childhood- and adulthood-diagnosed CD. The results underline the relevance of personal psychologic resources, which play a fundamental role in determining and sustaining depression.