Majority of Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Suffer From Psychiatric Disorders
Posted Jun 14 2010 7:10pm
A new study presented at the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Annual Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark indicates that a majority (63%) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients also have psychiatric disorders. According to the report, 87% of these disorders are depression related. The report also says that more than half (52%) of the patients in the study indicated that they had experienced stress events before the onset of their RA.
There were several other interesting findings in the report about the emotional impacts of RA:
Impairments in cognitive function were found more frequently in patients that were over 50 years old (39% vs. 9%)
One third (33%) of RA patients suffer from sleep disorders
Cognitive dysfunction was diagnosed in 23% of patients, with 16% of these ascribed to depression
The age of rheumatoid arthritis patients when they first used prednisone was significantly higher in those with depression (48 years) compared to those without (30 years)
Those RA patients with depression also displayed more severe symptoms as measured by X-ray, greater loss of function and pain than patients without depression. In addition, rheumatoid arthritis patients with depression received less aggressive treatment than patients without depression.
Dr Tatiana Lisitsyna from the State Institute of Rheumatology RAMS, Russian Federation, who conducted the study, said: “Psychiatric disorders are a very common comorbidity for people with RA, and they tend to be stress-related and associated with disease activity and chronic pain. Evaluating and addressing the mental health of those with RA should be a regular feature of rheumatology practice to improve quality of life and reduce the potentially distressing psychological burden of RA.”
The study included 75 RA patients, 72 of whom were women, with a median age of 52, with diagnosis based on the American College of Rheumatology definition. Psychiatric disorders were diagnosed in accordance with the ICD-10 (International Classification of Disease) scale, and other psychiatric and psychological scales.