Conference Coverage

Incidence of treated depression nearly 100% higher in patients with MS



Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have a nearly 100% higher incidence of new treated depression, compared with matched patients without MS, according to an analysis of data from patients in the United Kingdom.

Neil Minton, MD, head of drug safety at Celgene.

Dr. Neil Minton

After a diagnosis of MS, the incidence of new treated depression is 229 per 10,000 person-years. In comparison, the incidence of new treated depression among matched patients without MS is 121 per 10,000 person-years, Neil Minton, MD, drug safety head at Celgene, reported at the meeting held by the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis.

MS causes changes in the CNS that are associated with depression, but “data on rates of incident depression after MS diagnosis ... are limited,” Dr. Minton and his research colleagues said. To examine rates of treated incident depression in patients with MS after an MS diagnosis, compared with rates in a matched population of patients without MS, the researchers analyzed data from the U.K. Clinical Practice Research Datalink.

Their analysis included patients with MS who received a diagnosis of MS between 2001 and 2016, had at least 1 year of history available before the MS diagnosis, and had no history of treated depression. The researchers matched these patients with as many as 10 patients without MS by age, sex, general practice, record history length, and no history of treated depression. Treated depression was defined as a diagnosis code for depression and a prescription for an antidepressant treatment within 90 days. They used Byar’s method to estimate incidence rates and incidence rate ratios, the Kaplan-Meier method to generate cumulative incidence curves, and a log-rank test to compare the curves.

In all, 5,456 patients with MS and 45,712 matched patients without MS were included in the study. Patients’ median age was 42 years; 65% were female. Compared with patients without MS, patients with MS were more likely to have a history of untreated depression (9.6% vs. 7.5%) and to have received an antidepressant treatment for any indication before cohort entry (28.0% vs. 15.5%). Diagnoses for other psychiatric conditions were similar between the groups.

Incidence rates of treated depression were higher among women with MS, compared with men with MS – 241 versus 202 per 10,000 person-years. Compared with patients without MS, however, men with MS had a higher relative risk of treated depression (2.40 vs. 1.73).

The incidence rate ratios were similar in sensitivity analyses that excluded patients with a history of any psychiatric disorder at cohort entry and that did not require treatment to confirm a depression diagnosis.

The study was funded by a grant from Celgene.

SOURCE: Minton N et al. ACTRIMS Forum 2019, Abstract 82.

Next Article: