, , , , , , ,

NRAS – National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society – Rheumatoid arthritis and depression.

Rheumatoid arthritis and depression – research studies

Winter 2009: NRAS

Taken from NRAS magazine, Winter 2009

Two studies recently published in the journal Arthritis Care and Research have looked at depression. In one study, Canadian researchers have suggested that people with arthritis and other rheumatic diseases should be screened for depression. Researchers at the University of Toronto found that one in ten suffered from major depression and after adjusting for age and sex, the likelihood of people with arthritis being depressed and even suicidal was twice that of people without any rheumatic diseases. Few with major depression had consulted a mental health professional.

In the other study, researchers and the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases in the US have tried to identify the leading causes of depression in people with RA.

They studied the medical records of more than 22,000 people with RA and analysed data on demographics, clinical features of the disease, treatments, employment and work status, pain, fatigue and disability.

The results showed that 15 per cent had reported symptoms of depression at the beginning of the study and the figure rose to 38 per cent after nine years. The leading causes for depression were found to be pain and fatigue.

Psychological aspects of rheumatoid arthritis should be considered, so talk to your healthcare team about this if you feel you need help. Don’t feel as if it’s your fault if you are having difficulty coping.