A likelihood of depression is two to three times higher in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients in the U.S. and U.K. than in similar groups of people in these countries without the disease, a study reported.
This risk was also “most evident in the first five years after MS diagnosis” among people identified via databases in both countries, the researchers wrote.
The study, “Incident depression in patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis: a multi‐database study,” was published in the European Journal of Neurology.
“However, the rate of new depression [cases] after MS diagnosis and during disease progression is not well known,” the researchers wrote.
A research team in the U.S. analyzed data from two large U.S. and U.K. databases containing information on people with and without this disease.
Data from these two sources — the U.S. Department of Defense (US-DOD) military healthcare system and the U.K. Clinical Practice Research Datalink GOLD (UK-CPRD) — identified people diagnosed with MS between 2001–16 (UK-CPRD), and 2004–17 (US-DOD).
Investigators then matched each patient with up to 10 people without MS of the same age, sex, and geographical region who served as controls. Neither patients nor controls had a history of previous treatment for depression.
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