Few studies have been conducted to investigate the influence of depression on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)-related hospitalizations. Researchers examined the link between sadness and pediatric IBD-related hospitalizations. The primary aim was to test the hypothesis that depression is associated with hospital length of stay (LOS); the secondary goal was to assess if patients with depression are more likely to require additional imaging and procedures.

Data were taken from the 2012 Kids Inpatient Database (KID), the nation’s most nationally representative publicly available all-payer pediatric inpatient cross-sectional database. Hospitalizations for patients below the age of 21 with Crohn’s disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC) by ICD-9 code were included. Long LOS was predicted using multivariable logistic regression, which controlled for the patient- and hospital-level characteristics as well as possible illness covariates.


Depression was linked to a longer length of stay (odds ratio [OR] 1.50; 95% CI 1.19–1.90) and the use of complete parenteral nutrition (OR 1.54; 95% CI 1.04–2.27) in primary IBD-related hospitalizations (N = 8222). Depression was not linked to a higher risk of surgery (OR 0.97; 95% CI 0.72–1.30), endoscopy (OR 0.91; 95% CI 0.74–1.14), blood transfusion (OR 0.85; 95% CI 0.58–1.23), or abdominal imaging (OR 1.15; 95% CI 0.53–2.53).

Even when the severity of the gastrointestinal condition is controlled for, depression is related to a longer LOS in young IBD patients. Future studies on the efficacy of standardized depression screening and early intervention may help to improve inpatient outcomes in this population.