Recurrence of Depressive Disorders after Interferon-induced Depression

Dr. Wei Che Chiu  

ppk11642@gmail.com

 

Background

Interferon alpha (IFN-α) is the standard therapy for chronic hepatitis C viral infection but the treatment is highly associated IFN-α-induced depressive disorders. Although the depressive episode generally spontaneously subsides after the IFN-α therapy, there have been no studies to examine the long-term risk of the recurrence of clinical depression.

 

Aims

To examine the risk of the recurrent depression in IFN-α-induced depression patients.

 

Method

A retrospective cohort study was designed using the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) in Taiwan. The cohort included patients with and without INF-α-induced depression matched randomly by age, sex and the previous depression history at a ratio of 1:10. The follow-up started after the last prescription of INF-α. Cox regression was used to evaluate the hazard ratios (HRs) for risk of recurrent depressive disorder.

 

Results

The overall incidence rates of recurrent depressive disorders of patients with and without IFN-α-induced depression were 56.8 (95% CI, 42.4-76.1) and 4.1 (95% CI, 2.9-5.8) cases, respectively, per 100,000 person-years, p < 0.001. The adjusted hazard ratios for recurrent depressive disorder were 13.5 (95% CI, 9.9-18.3) in the unmatched cohort and 22.2 (95% CI, 11.2-44.2) in the matched cohort for IFN-α-induced depression patients after adjusting for age, sex, income, urbanization and comorbid diseases.

 

Conclusions

IFN-α-induced depression was associated with the high risk of recurrent depression. It was not a transient disease and might be considered as a risk factor for recurrent depressive episodes.