A 20-year study of women with lupus has found strong evidence that depression increases a person’s risk of developing lupus. That insight casts doubt on the generally accepted belief that depression is simply a by-product of having lupus. If depression is the chicken and lupus is the egg, the researchers found that the chicken could come first.
Andrea L. Roberts, PhD, Karen Costenbader, MD and co-authors published their findings in JAMA Psychiatry.
Earlier studies made progress in untangling the lupus-depression relationship. They confirmed that many autoimmune diseases often go hand-in-hand with depression. They also found that if a patient already has an autoimmune disease, depression tends to increase its severity.
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