BACKGROUND: Patients with chronic liver disease (CLD) and depression may be at a higher risk for various complications, including impaired quality of life and more advanced liver disease. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of depression in CLD patients (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), Hepatitis B (HBV), and Hepatitis C (HCV)) and to identify potential clinical and laboratory correlates of depression in these patients.
METHODS: We used a database of CLD patients that contains extensive clinical (including self-reported depression) and laboratory data for each patient. We compared the prevalence of depression in patients with HBV, HCV, and NAFLD. We also used regression models to find independent predictors of depression in these patients.
RESULTS: Of 878 CLD patients, 207 (23.6%) had a diagnosis of depression (NAFLD 27.2%, HCV 29.8%, and HBV 3.7%). Examination of predictors of depression differed by the type of chronic liver disease. For NAFLD, independent predictors of depression were the presence of hypertension, smoking, history of lung disease, being female, and non-African-American. For HBV patients, the only independent predictor of depression was excessive alcohol consumption (defined as >10 g/d), while for HCV patients, independent predictors were being female and non-Asian, presence of fatigue, and excessive alcohol intake.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that individuals with NAFLD and HCV have a higher prevalence of depression than HBV patients and the rates of depression reported for the general population. The most consistent correlates of depression status in CLD patients are being female and excessive alcohol consumption.