One-third of middle-age people who have arthritis are also suffering from two potentially mental conditions, anxiety or depression, a US study says.
Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reported that anxiety is nearly twice as common as depression among people who suffer from arthritis.
“The proportion of people with anxiety was almost twice as high as [the amount with] depression,” said lead researcher Dr. Louise Murphy. “That was a surprise because both in the clinical world and among arthritis researchers, there's so much more attention paid to depression.”
The findings which appeared in the journal Arthritis Care and Research
, are based on an investigation focusing on more than 1,700 adults who had been diagnosed with arthritis or other rheumatic conditions.
The relationship between anxiety, depression and chronic pain is complex while each acts both independently and synergistically as a risk factor for the others, the authors noted.
“When people start living with [arthritis] and the potential limitations it imposes, that can cause distress,” said Murphy.
“What we ultimately took away is that we've usually thought of arthritis as a condition that can have such profound disabling consequences,” the lead author suggested. “But what came out here is how profound the emotional consequences are. This is a call to action.”