Anxiety and Depression associated with Arthritis

credit: National Cancer Institute Daniel Sone (Photographer) - PD

(Best Syndication News) - One-third of US adults with arthritis who are over the age of 45 also suffer from anxiety or depression. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published their results on anxiety and depression with arthritis patients in today’s issue of Arthritis Care & Research; a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell, which is also the official journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR).

Anxiety was around twice as common than depression in those suffering from arthritis. Despite the higher occurrence of anxiety, doctors tend to treat the depression more often. The researchers found anxiety in 31 percent of the participants, while depression was measured in 18 percent of the participants. Additionally, 84 percent of the participants who had depression also had anxiety.

The study was led by Louise Murphy with the Arthritis Program at the CDC in Atlanta, Ga. The study picked participants from a previous CDC's Arthritis Conditions and Health Effects Survey of 45 or older adults who had arthritis symptoms. They decided on 1,793 participants that were diagnosed by doctors as having arthritis or other rheumatic diseases. The researchers measured anxiety and depression using questions from the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales.

Despite the study results of participants suffering anxiety and depression, only half of these participants went to get mental health treatment in the last year.

The CDC estimates around 50 million Americans over the age of 25 are suffering from some kind of arthritis. The American College of Rheumatology estimates around 27 million adults have osteoarthritis and another 1.3 million have rheumatoid arthritis.

"Given their high prevalence and the effective treatment options that are available, we suggest that all people with arthritis be screened for anxiety and depression," said Dr. Murphy said in a statement. "With so many arthritis patients not seeking mental health treatment, health care providers are missing an intervention opportunity that could improve the quality of life for those with arthritis."

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

ref: "Anxiety is more Common than Depression Among US Adults with Arthritis." Louise B. Murphy, Jeffrey J Sacks, Teresa J Brady, Jennifer M Hootman and Daniel P. Chapman. Arthritis Care and Research; Published Online: April 30, 2012 (DOI: 10.1002/acr.21685).

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