Depression in pediatric SLE matches average rates

Major finding: The prevalence of depression in pediatric lupus was 26%-44%, not significantly different from reported levels in the general pediatric population.

Data source: An assessment of 54 children, adolescents, and young adults diagnosed with childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus at one Canadian center.

Disclosures: Dr. Kohut and her associates said that they had no disclosures.



The analysis also showed a significant link between higher corticosteroid dose and more symptoms of physical depression and lower self-esteem. The authors found this "not surprising" since the changes in physical appearance associated with higher dose corticosteroids could be expected to lead to issues with self-esteem and depressive symptoms.

The new finding that the prevalence of depression in children and young adults with cSLE matches the general population contrasts with what’s seen in adults with SLE, where the rate of depression exceeds the general adult prevalence. "There may be other factors affecting adults with SLE such as duration, severity or impact of illness, side effects from medications, loss of opportunities, available supports, etc.," Dr. Kohut said. "Further longitudinal research would be needed to clarify such differences in disease."

Dr. Kohut and her associates said that they had no disclosures.

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