J Rheum Dis.  2015 Dec;22(6):346-355. 10.4078/jrd.2015.22.6.346.

Depression and Quality of Life in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Cheonan Hospital, Cheonan, Korea.
  • 2Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea. ysong@snu.ac.kr
  • 4Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 5Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.
  • 6Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 7Department of Molecular Medicine and Biopharmaceutical Sciences, Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology, Medical Research Center, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.


The objective of this study is to examine the prevalence of depression and its related factors including quality of life, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and vitamin D in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Depression was assessed using the center for epidemiologic studies depression (CES-D) scale. Disease activity, disease-related organ damage, the EuroQol-5 dimensions (EQ-5D), sociodemographic features, and laboratory tests including serum vitamin D level were surveyed. Serum BDNF was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Depression was observed in 22.8% of 180 SLE patients (n=41). Patients with marital status of single/divorced/separated/widowed, a higher patient global assessment (PGA) score, and extreme pain/discomfort showed significant association with depression. The EQ-5D index showed negative correlation with CES-D score (r=-0.56, p<0.05). In each EQ-5D dimension, depression showed significant association with moderate to severe problems in self-care and usual activities, and extreme pain/discomfort. Serum BDNF levels were not associated with depression (p=0.75) but associated with SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI; r=-0.21, p<0.05). Serum vitamin D levels were not associated with depression (p=0.60) but showed negative correlation with SLEDAI (r=-0.23, p<0.05) and mean glucocorticoid dose over the previous 3 months (r=-0.21, p<0.05) after adjustment for use of vitamin D supplement.
Depression was prevalent in patients with SLE and was associated with low quality of life, and a higher PGA but not with SLEDAI. Serum BDNF and vitamin D levels were not associated with depression but showed snegative correlation with SLEDAI.


Systemic lupus erythematosus; Depression; Quality of life; Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; Vitamin D

MeSH Terms

Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
Epidemiologic Studies
Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic*
Marital Status
Quality of Life*
Self Care
Vitamin D
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
Vitamin D
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