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Association of aphthous ulcers with self-reported symptoms of depression in a sample of smartphone users

Jadon R. Webb, MD, PhD

Yale University, Child Study Center, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Blake F. Webb, BS

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas, USA

Mary C. Schroeder, PhD

Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA

Carol S. North, MD, MPH

The VA North Texas Health Care System, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Departments of Psychiatry and Surgery/Division of Emergency Medicine, Dallas, Texas, USA

BACKGROUND: Our goal is to examine the association of recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) with symptoms of depression using a smartphone-based questionnaire survey.

METHODS: An electronic survey was administered through a smartphone app asking respondents about current depressive symptoms using the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptoms (QIDS), and asking whether they had ever or recently experienced RAS. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine associations.

RESULTS: A total of 478 individuals completed the survey, with 64% reporting a lifetime prevalence of RAS, and 21% experiencing an aphthous ulcer within the last month. RAS was significantly associated with increased sleep, decreased appetite, low energy, and feeling sluggish. RAS was not associated with overall depression severity as measured by total QIDS score, or with cardinal features of depression such as sadness, insomnia, impaired concentration, self-blame, thoughts of death, or anhedonia. Prevalence of RAS did not differ by age, sex, or smoking status, but was less likely in blacks and Asians compared with whites.

CONCLUSIONS: RAS was a common phenomenon in this sample of mostly depressed individuals, and was associated with some neurovegetative symptoms of depression, but not depression severity.

KEYWORDS: aphthous ulcer, depression, RAS


CORRESPONDENCE: Jadon R. Webb Yale University, Child Study Center 230 S. Frontage Road New Haven, CT 06520 USA E-MAIL: Jadon.Webb@yale.edu
Annals of Clinical Psychiatry ©2013 Quadrant HealthCom Inc.

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