Background:Although several studies have reported the poor mental health of patients with chronic viral hepatitis, few reports exists over the correlation of mental health and virus type. Current study was conducted to compare the severity of anxiety and depression in chronic hepatitis C, B and healthy subjects.
Materials and methods:This case control study was conducted in Tehran Hepatitis Center (THC) in 2006. Group I (chronic hepatitis C, n=14), group II (chronic hepatitis B, n=65) and group III (healthy subjects, n=65) were matched for age, sex and educational level and were compared by means of the severity of anxiety and depression measured by Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS). The correlation between clinical or para-clinical findings of the patients with viral hepatitis and severity of anxiety and depression was also assessed.
Results:Group I in comparison to other groups reported a higher anxiety (9.573.86 vs. 7.454.52 vs. 4.814.80, p=0.001) and depression (6.433.76 vs. 5.233.74 vs. 4.764.40, p=0.05). Anxiety and depression score were also both correlated with total serum bilirubin level, but were not correlated with other para-clinical findings. However the patients who had received interferon reported higher depressive symptoms but the difference did not reach statistically significant level.
Conclusion:According to the higher severity of anxiety and depression in the case of chronic HCV infection inn comparison to HBV infection or healthy subjects and the importance of mental health issues in viral hepatitis, we recommend a more close mental health observation in patients affected with HCV infection. Psychiatrist and psychologist visits and consultations can help in this approach.
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