Objective:To estimate the frequency of depression among hepatitis C positive patients. Material and Methods: This descriptive cross sectional study was conducted in the Department of Medicine, Hamdard University Hospital and KV site Hospital Karachi from November 1, 2008 to March 15, 2009, on 100 diagnosed Hepatitis C positive patients above 13 years of age and of both sexes. Depression was assessed using DSM-IV criteria. Patients were divided into three sub groups, patients with ongoing treatment interferon (IFN)/ribavirin (or both), posttreatment patients and patients with hepatitis C but without any treatment. Results: Out of 100 patients, (50 males and 50 females), 92% were married, ranging in age from 17 to 75 years with a mean age of 43 +12.6 years. Regarding treatment, 72% patients were taking treatment (88% on interferon + ribavirin and 12% on IFN alone), 8% were post treatment while 20% patients did not take any medication. The frequency of depression among all subgroups was 90% with 6% population being depressed even before diagnosis, 5% after they got to know that they are HCV positive and 32% after the IFN treatment. Interestingly 47% patients had depression both before starting IFN and also continuing after IFN therapy. Suicidal ideation was reported by 6%. None of HCV positive cases were on any antidepressants. Fifteen percent patients had positive family history of HCV. Conclusion: This study reflects high frequency of undiagnosed depression in hepatitis C patients, with significant levels of depression among all patient subgroups. Depression is largely undetected and untreated. Key words: Hepatitis-C, Depression, Psychiatric Disorder, IFN lpha
This article may be cited as: Majeed S, Memon A, Abdi MA. Frequency of Depression Among Hepatitis C Patients. KUST Med J 2009;1(2): 42-45.
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