Mood and Anxiety Disorders as Early Manifestations of Medical Illness: A Systematic Review

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Abstract

Background:

Affective disturbances involving alterations of mood, anxiety and irritability may be early symptoms of medical illnesses. The aim of this paper was to provide a systematic review of the literature with qualitative data synthesis.

Methods:

MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Cochrane, and ISI Web of Science were systematically searched from inception to February 2014. Search terms were ‘prodrome/early symptom’, combined using the Boolean ‘AND’ operator with ‘anxiety/depression/mania/hypomania/irritability/irritable mood/hostility’, combined with the Boolean ‘AND’ operator with ‘medical illness/medical disorder’. PRISMA guidelines were followed.

Results:

A total of 21 studies met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed. Depression was found to be the most common affective prodrome of medical disorders and was consistently reported in Cushings syndrome, hypothyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, pancreatic and lung cancer, myocardial infarction, Wilsons disease, and AIDS. Mania, anxiety and irritability were less frequent.

Conclusions:

Physicians may not pursue medical workup of cases that appear to be psychiatric in nature. They should be alerted that disturbances in mood, anxiety and irritability may antedate the appearance of a medical disorder.

Conclusions:

© 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel

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