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Study Reveals Depression is Often Undiagnosed in People with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

by | Apr 25, 2024

Inside Lupus Research (ILR): Disease Management News

Day-to-day life with lupus can be challenging and take a toll on your mental health. A study examined the prevalence of people with depression and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and found depression was highly prevalent, but often undiagnosed. 

The study included 40 people (37 female; 3 male) with SLE who had no history of depression or anxiety. Each individual completed a survey that captured their socio-demographic information, mental health activity, and SLE disease activity. Researchers evaluated depression levels using the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9) scale, which is used to diagnose severe depression, and found a direct correlation between SLE disease activity and depression. Of the group, 38 of the 40 participants had some degree of depression with 20% mild, 37.5% moderate, and 37.5% severe depression. Furthermore, the research suggests that SLE disease activity and severity plays a role in the intensity of depression and anxiety. 

Treating depression is vital to managing lupus disease activity and improving quality of life. While treatments for lupus are important to help control and manage symptoms, mental health cannot be neglected by healthcare providers. Learn more about managing your mental health with lupus.

Read the study

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