Two common chronic conditions are taking a serious toll on millions of Americans. Depression, a mental health condition that can cause exhaustion, loss of pleasure in favorite activities, hopelessness and even suicidal ideation, affects more than 16 million people in the United States alone. The other is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which typically manifests as abdominal pain, abnormal bleeding from the rectum or in stools, fatigue and persistent diarrhea,  affects approximately 1.6 million Americans.

For the past 11 years, Keck Medicine of USC conducted a study to determine whether a link exists between these two prominent health issues. The recently finalized results show that patients diagnosed with IBD are nine times as likely to develop depression than the general population. Conversely, patients with depression are twice as likely to develop IBD.

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