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Those with arthritis often have anxiety and depression


According to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) one third of adults with arthritis aged 45 or older have anxiety or depression. Additionally, anxiety is nearly twice as common as depression among the same people.

In the US, 27 million people aged 25 years and older have diagnosed osteoarthritis (OA). As many as 1.3 million people have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The CDC estimates that both forms of arthritis affect a total of 50 million Americans and is the number one cause of disability. And depression is very common in that group. However, experts now suggest that the anxiety element is largely unrecognized and undertreated. Only recently has it been determined that anxiety is a potential risk for depression.

This study selected individuals who had previously taken part in the CDC’s Arthritis Conditions and Health Effects Survey. They found 1793 participants with diagnosed arthritis or other rheumatic conditions. Anxiety and depression were assessed from questions they answered in that survey.

Researchers found that anxiety was more common than depression. Up to one-third reported having at least one of the conditions and 84% of those said they had both. Still, only half of the participants sought medical intervention.

“Given their high prevalence and the effective treatment options that are available, we suggest that all people with arthritis be screened for anxiety and depression,” said Dr. Murphy. “With so many arthritis patients not seeking mental health treatment, health care providers are missing an intervention opportunity that could improve the quality of life for those with arthritis.”

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Arthritis Care & Research

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