Harvard Mental Health Letter

In Brief: Mood and anxiety disorders more likely in people with arthritis

In Brief

Mood and anxiety disorders more likely in people with arthritis

Many people develop some type of arthritis as they grow older, and as a result suffer from pain and limited mobility. Now researchers who have analyzed the results of 18 World Mental Health surveys in 17 countries conclude that people who develop arthritis are also at risk for mood and anxiety disorders.

After adjusting for age and sex, the researchers found that people with arthritis were about twice as likely to report suffering from major depression, dysthymia, or anxiety disorders such as panic disorder or social phobia, as people without arthritis. Their findings suggest that patients with arthritis should be evaluated for mood and anxiety disorders.

He Y, et al. "Mental Disorders Among Persons with Arthritis: Results from the World Mental Health Surveys," Psychological Medicine (Feb. 26, 2008): Electronic publication ahead of print.

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