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ARTICLE
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 204-208

Prospective case-control study of interictal depression and suicidal ideation in Nigerians with epilepsy


Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
N U Okubadejo
Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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BACKGROUND: Co-morbid depression and suicidal ideation in people with epilepsy (PWE) in developing countries are under-recognised, and so may be consequently undertreated. This study was designed to determine the frequency and clinical correlates of interictal depression and suicidal ideation in PWE. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Using a prospective design, we evaluated 96 PWE and two groups of controls (103 age- and sex-matched population controls and 13 persons with DSM - IV diagnosis of major depression (controls with depression - CWD) without epilepsy. Depression was assessed using Zung Self-rating depression scale (scores =40 indicating depression). RESULTS: Depression was more prevalent in PWE (25/96 i.e. 26.0%) than normal controls (10/103 i.e. 9.7%) (P = 0.004). Suicidal ideation scores were similar for depressed PWE and depressed normal controls (1.7 +/-1.0 v. 1.5 +/- 1.0; P>0.05), but significantly higher in CWD (2.61.3; P=0.04). Among PWE, mean duration of epilepsy (years) was the only variable significantly related to depression (i.e. 12.7 8.8 in depressed PWE v. 8.3 6.6 in non-depressed PWE (P=0.01). CONCLUSION: Depressive symptomatology is a frequent co-morbidity in our tertiary care population of PWE. However, suicidal ideation is less common in contrast to persons with major depression.


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