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IJMDC. 2021; 5(4): 1060-1065

Prevalence of depression among patients with primary hypothyroidism in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia: does obesity matter?

Kawthar Zakaria Alghasham, Ghadeer Zakaria Alghasham, Noura Saleh Alkulaib, Ahmed Mohammed Elshebiny.


Background: Hypothyroidism is a worldwide common endocrine disorder. Different grades of depression are frequently encountered in patients with hypothyroidism. The relationship between hypothyroidism and depression is not well characterized and the risk factors for the development of depression in these patients are not well understood. The aim of this study was to study the prevalence, severity, and risk factors of depression among patients with primary hypothyroidism.
Methodology: This is an observational cross-sectional study that included 114 adult patients with primary hypothyroidism. We used the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 to detect depression and assess its severity. Data were analyzed using the statistical software IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22 (SPSS, Inc. Chicago, IL).
Results: Among the total 114 patients with primary hypothyroidism, 23.7% of the patients had no or minimal depression, while 37.7% had mild depression, 23.7% had moderate depression, and 7% had severe depression. Severe depression was detected to be significantly higher among those who were not compliant with medication than compliant patients (p = 0.027). However, there was no statistically significant difference between the distribution of different degrees of depression with age (p = 0.291), body mass index (p = 0.794), duration of hypothyroidism (p = 0.357), thyroid stimulating hormone level (p = 0.07), family history of psychiatric diseases (p = 0.977), or history of chronic diseases (p = 0.313).
Conclusion: Different grades of depression are common among patients with hypothyroidism. The only statistically significant factor correlated with severe depression is the patient noncompliance to medications. Body mass index was insignificantly related to depression of any severity.

Key words: Hypothyroidism, obesity, depression, Saudi Arabia

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