Rates of depression and anxiety may correlate with disease activity in early RA

June 15, 2018, European League Against Rheumatism

The results of a study to be presented at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2018) suggest that rates of anxiety and depression in patients with rheumatoid arthritis correlate with measures of disease activity over the first year following diagnosis.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a that affects a person's joints, causing pain and disability. It can also affect . RA is more common in older people, but there is also a high prevalence in young adults and adolescents. It affects women more frequently than men. High rates of and anxiety have been shown in patients with RA.

"These results confirm both depression and anxiety as significant comorbidities at the time of diagnosis," said Professor Thomas Dörner, Chairperson of the Abstract Selection Committee, EULAR. "It is interesting to see the changes in anxiety and depression scores appear in tandem with over time, which requires further investigation."

The study included data from 848 patients and results showed significant reductions in anxiety from 19.0% to 13.4% (p=0.004) and depression from 12.2% to 8.2% (p=0.01) one year after RA diagnosis, this was in line with observed decrease in disease . Both depression and anxiety scores demonstrated significant correlation with activity scores (DAS28) at baseline, six months and at 12 months (p<0.0001). In addition, change in DAS28 (final-baseline) also significantly correlated with change in both depression and anxiety scores at six months and 12 months.

"Our results demonstrate a number of interesting associations with socioeconomic and other variables," said Dr. George Fragoulis, honorary research fellow at the University of Glasgow (study author). "Most interestingly c-reactive protein, which is a blood test marker for inflammation, was highly associated with depression but not anxiety at all time points. This provides further support to compelling data linking inflammation and depression."

Investigators conducted statistical analysis to highlight potential associations between depression and anxiety scores and multiple variables at each time point. When looking at anxiety scores, statistically significant associations were found with female gender, younger age, and patient global assessment score (PGA) at baseline. At six months and 12 months, significant association was demonstrated between anxiety scores and low body mass index (BMI), PGA and baseline anxiety scores. When looking at depression scores, significant associations were found with PGA at baseline. At six months and 12 months, depression score was significantly associated with PGA, c-reactive protein (CRP) levels as well as baseline depression and anxiety scores.

The study used data from patients in the Scottish Early Rheumatoid Arthritis (SERA) cohort of newly diagnosed patients with RA. Patients had been followed-up every six months following diagnosis and tested for pre-specified clinical, laboratory and psychosocial features. This included anxiety and depression which was measured using the hospital and depression score.

Explore further: Rheumatoid arthritis in pregnancy associated with low birth weight and premature birth

More information: Fragoulis GE, Cavanagh J, Derakhshan MH, et al. Depression and anxiety in an early rheumatoid arthritis inception cohort. Associations with epidemiological, socioeconomic and disease features. EULAR 2018; Amsterdam: Abstract OP0350. DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2018-eular.7083

Related Stories

Rheumatoid arthritis in pregnancy associated with low birth weight and premature birth

June 14, 2018
The results of a study presented today at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2018) demonstrate that pregnancies in women with rheumatoid arthritis are associated with premature delivery and low birth weight.

Cognitive behavior therapy significantly reduced depression and anxiety in chronic pain patients

June 15, 2017
The results of a study presented today at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR) 2017 has shown that Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, a form of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) that focuses on psychological ...

DDW: Psych disorders make GERD hard to Dx by symptoms alone

June 5, 2018
(HealthDay)—For patients with minor psychiatric disorders (MPD), symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are unreliable for establishing the presence of GERD, according to a study presented at the 2018 Digestive ...

Frequency of joint replacements halved in rheumatoid arthritis patients between 1997-2010

June 13, 2018
The results of two studies presented today at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2018) investigate joint replacement procedures in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. The first study demonstrates that joint ...

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk of certain types of malignancy

June 13, 2018
The results of a study presented at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2018) examined rates of malignancy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), excluding non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC), and found no ...

Significant increase in self-harm attempts following ankylosing spondylitis diagnosis

June 14, 2018
The results of a population study presented today at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2018) demonstrate a significantly increased rate of self-harm attempts in inflammatory arthritis (IA), particularly ...

Recommended for you

Potential arthritis treatment prevents cartilage breakdown

November 28, 2018
Osteoarthritis, a disease that causes severe joint pain, affects more than 20 million people in the United States. Some drug treatments can help alleviate the pain, but there are no treatments that can reverse or slow the ...

Patchy distribution of joint inflammation resolved

November 16, 2018
Chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and spondylo-arthritis (SpA) are chronic, disabling diseases with a poor outcome for loco-motoric function if left untreated. RA and SpA each affect ...

Defense against joint degeneration

October 30, 2018
During cartilage development, chondrocytes secrete the extracellular matrix (ECM) and embed within the same environment. During progressive joint disease, such as osteoarthritis (OA), dysregulation of the process can lead ...

Becoming more sensitive to pain increases the risk of knee pain not going away

October 30, 2018
Becoming more sensitive to pain, or pain sensitization, is an important risk factor for developing persistent knee pain in osteoarthritis, according to a new study by researchers at Université de Montréal and its affiliated ...

Ground-breaking discovery finds new link between autoimmune diseases and a gut bacterium

October 29, 2018
Could microbes in our guts be sending out the wrong message? Queen's University Belfast researchers have, for the first time, found a specific microbe in the gut that pumps out protein molecules that mimic a human protein, ...

Research shows diet has little influence on precursor to gout

October 11, 2018
Dietary factors have a far smaller influence on urate levels (a precursor to gout) than previously envisaged, new University of Otago research reveals.

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.