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04.06.2020 | Systematic Review | Ausgabe 8/2020 Open Access

Rheumatology International 8/2020

The prevalence and impact of depression in primary systemic vasculitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Rheumatology International > Ausgabe 8/2020
Bradley Pittam, Sonal Gupta, Ashar E. Ahmed, David M. Hughes, Sizheng Steven Zhao
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00296-020-04611-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Bradley Pittam and Sonal Gupta are joint first authors.

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Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.



To describe the prevalence of depression among patients with primary systemic vasculitides (PSV); compare prevalence according to vasculitis type and against controls; and examine the impact of depression on PSV outcomes.


We searched Medline, PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science using a predefined protocol in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. We included all studies that reported the prevalence or impact of depression in PSV. We also included polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) given its association with giant cell arteritis (GCA). Meta-analyses of prevalence estimates were performed using random-effects models and reported as percentages (95% confidence interval).


We reviewed a total of 15 studies that described the prevalence of depression, categorised into small (n = 10) and large vessel vasculitis (n = 7). Pooled prevalence estimate for depression in a small vessel (predominantly ANCA-associated) vasculitis was 28% (95% CI 20–38%) with significant heterogeneity (I2 = 93%). Depression prevalence in large-vessel vasculitis (Takayasu and GCA/PMR) was 24% (95% CI 17–34%), again with significant heterogeneity (I2 = 96%). One study reported 56% prevalence of depression in medium vessel disease. The prevalence of depression in small vessel vasculitis was higher than healthy controls. In these patients, depression and depressive symptoms were associated with poorer quality of life, adherence, and work disability, but not disease activity or damage.


Depression is highly prevalent among patients with primary systemic vasculitis and associated with poorer outcomes across a range of measures in studies of small vessel disease. Further studies are needed for depression in medium and large vessel vasculitides.

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