Gastritis linked to mood, anxiety disorders

By Mark Cowen, senior medwireNews Reporter

Patients with gastritis are at significantly increased risk for mood and anxiety disorders, study results suggest.

The researchers found that patients with gastritis were significantly more likely than the general population to have experienced any anxiety disorder (odds ratio [OR]=1.9), panic attacks (OR=2.3), social phobia (OR=2.2), any mood disorder (OR=2.1), and major depression (OR=2.1) in the previous 12 months, after accounting for age, gender, and socioeconomic status.

"It may be pertinent to consider screening for mental health problems in this clinical population, if these findings are replicated," comment Renee Goodwin (City University of New York, USA) and colleagues.

The findings come from a study of 4181 adults, aged 18-79 years, who participated in the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey.

All of the participants were assessed for gastritis during medical interviews, and the Munich Composite International Diagnostic Interview was used to evaluate the patients for DSM-IV mental health disorders.

In total, 861 participants had a lifetime diagnosis of gastritis, the researchers report in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

The team found that adults with versus without gastritis had a significantly higher prevalence of any anxiety disorder (27.0 vs 15.3%), panic attacks (10.3 vs 4.5%), social phobia (17.2 vs 8.1%), any mood disorder (21.3 vs 11.5%), and major depression (20.1 vs 10.5%) in the past 12 months.

The associations between gastritis and mood and anxiety disorders were stronger in men than women, although the difference was not significant.

Goodwin and team conclude: "Our results suggest a significant link between a diagnosis of gastritis and increased likelihood of mood and anxiety disorders."

They add: "Future studies that can investigate possible physiological pathways of these relationships are needed, and may help to shed light on etiology of both gastritis and mood and anxiety disorders."

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