Study: Rheumatoid arthritis plus depression may be deadly

November 12, 2012
Study: rheumatoid arthritis plus depression may be deadly
Risk of mood-related mortality greater for men.

(HealthDay)—People with rheumatoid arthritis have higher-than-normal rates of depression, which could increase their risk of death, according to a new study.

The researchers looked at 530 patients, average age 60, in northern California who had for an average of 19 years. They were assessed for depressive symptoms in 2002 or 2003 and then followed until 2009. During that time, 63 of the patients died.

Overall, were twice as likely to die as those without depression. The risk of death among depressed men was twice that for . Men with depression were five times more likely to die than women without depression.

Even men and women who had depressive symptoms but did not have depression were more likely to die than those without any depressive symptoms, according to Patricia Katz, a professor of medicine and health policy at University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues.

Rheumatoid arthritis, which causes pain, swelling and loss of joint function, affects about 1.3 million Americans and occurs in women twice as often as in men. It is different from age-related osteoarthritis.

The study is scheduled for presentation Sunday at the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting, in Washington, D.C.

Katz said the findings suggest that depression and are a significant risk factor for death in rheumatoid arthritis patients, although it is not necessarily part of the disease process.

"Patients need to be made aware that depression is something to pay attention to in [rheumatoid arthritis], and they need to tell their physician about it. Rheumatologists and other need to be aware of the problem of depression in the clinical setting," Katz concluded.

Data and conclusions presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

And while the study found an association between depressed rheumatoid arthritis patients and risk of death, it did not prove a causal relationship.

Explore further: Young women with rheumatoid arthritis at more risk for broken bones

More information: The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has more about rheumatoid arthritis.

Related Stories

Young women with rheumatoid arthritis at more risk for broken bones

November 6, 2011
Women under 50 with rheumatoid arthritis are at greater risk of breaking bones than women without the condition, according to a Mayo Clinic study being presented at the American College of Rheumatology annual scientific ...

Rheumatoid arthritis linked to irregular heart rhythm

March 8, 2012
People with rheumatoid arthritis are at a greater risk of irregular heart rhythm (known as atrial fibrillation) and stroke compared with the general population, finds a study published in the British Medical Journal today.

Raised antibody levels linked to greater long term risk of rheumatoid arthritis

September 6, 2012
Men and women with raised levels of an antibody known as rheumatoid factor in their blood have up to a 26-fold greater long term risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, finds a study published in the British Medical Journal ...

One-third of adult Americans with arthritis battle anxiety or depression

April 30, 2012
Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that one-third of U.S. adults with arthritis, 45 years and older, report having anxiety or depression. According to findings that appear today in ...

Recommended for you

Osteoarthritis could be treated as two diseases, scientists reveal

January 10, 2018
Scientists at The University of Manchester have discovered that most people with osteoarthritis can be subdivided into two distinct disease groups, with implications for diagnosis and drug development.

US arthritis prevalence is much higher than current estimates

November 27, 2017
New research indicates that the prevalence of arthritis in the United States has been substantially underestimated, especially among adults

Maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels may help to prevent rheumatoid arthritis

November 20, 2017
Maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels may help to prevent the onset of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, research led by the University of Birmingham has discovered.

Old World monkeys could be key to a new, powerful rheumatoid arthritis therapy

November 16, 2017
In the quest for a new and more effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC looked to a primate that mostly roams the land in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It was ...

Study lists foods for fighting rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and progression

November 8, 2017
A list of food items with proven beneficial effects on the progression and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is provided in a new study published today in Frontiers in Nutrition. The authors suggest incorporating these foods ...

Prototype equipment can detect rheumatoid arthritis

September 28, 2017
According to a first clinical study published in the scientific journal Photoacoustics, the University of Twente and various European partners have designed a device that shows the difference between healthy fingers and arthritic ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.