Increased depression risk among patients with chronic osteomyelitis

Chun Hung Tseng, Wei Shih Huang, Chih Hsin Muo, Yen Jung Chang, Chia Hung Kao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Inflammatory processes, which provoke alternations of neurotransmitter metabolism, neuroendocrine function, and neuroplasticity in the brain, might promote depression. In depression patients who do not exhibit risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, Parkinson's disease and dementia, particularly in young people, inflammation is a likely risk factor for depression. We explored whether chronic osteomyelitis (COM), a chronic inflammatory disease, increases depression risk. Methods: A Taiwanese national insurance claims data set of more than 22 million enrollees was used to select 15,529 COM patients without depression history and 62,116 randomly selected age- and gender-matched controls without depression and COM history to trace depression development for an 12-year follow-up period from January 1, 1999 to December 31, 2010. The depression risk was analyzed using the Cox proportional hazards regression model. Results: The above-mentioned risk factors for depression were more frequent in the COM cohort, who exhibited significantly higher depression risk than the control group did. Comparing only those without comorbidities, the COM group exhibited higher depression risk than the control group did (hazard ratio [HR] = 3.04, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.55-3.62). The younger population carried even greater risk (age < 45: HR = 6.08, 95% CI: 1.71-7.85; age > 65: HR = 1.75, 95% CI: 1.39-2.19). Conclusions: This is the first study connecting COM to increased risk of developing depression. The outcomes suggest that COM is a substantial depression predictor and call for a closer focus on these patients for more rigorous depression prevention, particularly in young people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-540
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec 1


  • Chronic osteomyelitis
  • Depression
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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