What Does a Diagnosis of Depression Mean for Patients Undergoing Colorectal Surgery?

Oluseye K. Oduyale, Ahmed A. Eltahir, Miloslawa Stem, Elizabeth Prince, George Q. Zhang, Bashar Safar, Jonathan E. Efron, Chady Atallah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Depression has been linked to increased morbidity and mortality in patients after surgery. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of documented depression diagnosis on in-hospital postoperative outcomes of patients undergoing colorectal surgery. Materials and methods: Patients from the National Inpatient Sample (2002-2017) who underwent proctectomies and colectomies were included. The outcomes measured included total hospital charge, length of stay, delirium, wound infection, urinary tract infection (UTI), pneumonia, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, mortality, paralytic ileus, leak, and discharge trends. Multivariable logistic and Poisson regression analyses were performed. Results: Of the 4,212,125 patients, depression diagnosis was present in 6.72% of patients who underwent colectomy and 6.54% of patients who underwent proctectomy. Regardless of procedure type, patients with depression had higher total hospital charges and greater rates of delirium, wound infection, UTI, leak, and nonroutine discharge, with no difference in length of stay. On adjusted analysis, patients with a depression diagnosis who underwent colectomies had increased risk of delirium (odds ratio (OR) 2.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.93-2.32), wound infection (OR 1.08, 95% CI 1.03-1.12), UTI (OR 1.15, 95% CI 1.10-1.20), paralytic ileus (OR 1.06, 95% CI 1.03-1.09), and leak (OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.30-1.43). Patients who underwent proctectomy showed similar results, with the addition of significantly increased total hospital charges among the depression group. Depression diagnosis was independently associated with lower risk of in-hospital mortality (colectomy OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.53-0.62; proctectomy OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.55-0.94). Conclusions: Patients with a diagnosis of depression suffer worse in-hospital outcomes but experience lower risk of in-hospital mortality after undergoing colorectal surgery. Further studies are needed to validate and fully understand the driving factors behind this.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-461
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Colorectal surgery
  • Depression
  • Mortality
  • Postoperative outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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