J Affect Disord. 2023 Oct 16:S0165-0327(23)01302-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2023.10.111. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between depression and the risk of incident irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
METHODS: We included 98,564 participants free of IBS in the UK biobank. Depression was defined by self-report and Hospital Episode Statistics. The main outcome was incident IBS. Cox proportional hazards regression models and two-sample mendelian randomization were performed to estimate the risk of incident IBS.
RESULTS: Among 98,564 participants, 8770 (8.9 %) participants had a depression diagnosis at baseline. During a median of 12.9-year follow-up, 224 cases of incident IBS were identified in patients with depression (2.0 per 1000 person-years), compared with 1625 cases in reference individuals (1.5 per 1000 person-years). After adjustment, the hazard ratio of incident IBS associated with depression was 1.26 (95 % CI: 1.01-1.41). Sensitivity analysis indicated similar results. The two-sample mendelian randomization based on the inverse variance weighted method provided evidence for the harmful role of depression in an increased risk of IBS with an OR of 1.57 (95 % CI: 1.24-1.99).
LIMITATIONS: Depression was mainly measured by self-report online CIDI-SF in the current study, rather than the gold diagnostic criteria including clinical structured interview, which might lead to potential measurement error. Lifestyle behaviors might change during the long-term follow-up, and time-varying covariates (i.e., smoking and alcohol status) may bias the estimate.
CONCLUSIONS: Depression is associated with an increased risk of incident IBS. Further studies are warranted to confirm the role of depression on incident IBS and elucidate the underlying mechanisms.