Anxiety, Depression Common in Adults With Arthritis

Anxiety found more often than depression; one-third of patients have one of the two conditions

MONDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Anxiety and depression are both common among U.S. adults with arthritis, with anxiety found more often than depression, according to a study published in the July issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

To estimate the prevalence and correlates of anxiety and depression among adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, Louise B. Murphy, Ph.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues utilized a sample of data from the Arthritis Conditions Health Effects Survey involving 1,793 U.S. adults aged 45 years or older. Separate and validated subscales of the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales were used to assess anxiety and depression.

The researchers found that anxiety and depression were reported in 31 and 18 percent of respondents, respectively, with one-third, overall, reporting at least one of the conditions. Eighty-four percent of those with depression had concomitant anxiety. A distinct profile of characteristics could not be identified for those with anxiety and/or depression. For those with anxiety and/or depression, only half sought medical help from their health care provider (HCP).

"We found that both anxiety and depression are common among people with arthritis, and the prevalence of anxiety was higher than the prevalence of depression," the authors write. "Approximately half of the affected respondents whose arthritis was being treated by an HCP had not sought treatment in the past year for their mental health condition, indicating a missed opportunity for HCP intervention."

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