Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Study: Rheumatoid Arthritis Plus Depression May Be Deadly

Study: Rheumatoid Arthritis Plus Depression May Be Deadly

11/12/12

SATURDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- People with rheumatoid arthritis have higher-than-normal rates of depression, which could increase their risk of death, according to a new study.

The researchers looked at 530 patients, average age 60, in northern California who had rheumatoid arthritis for an average of 19 years. They were assessed for depressive symptoms in 2002 or 2003 and then followed until 2009. During that time, 63 of the patients died.

Overall, depressed patients were twice as likely to die as those without depression. The risk of death among depressed men was twice that for depressed women. Men with depression were five times more likely to die than women without depression.

Even men and women who had depressive symptoms but did not have depression were more likely to die than those without any depressive symptoms, according to Patricia Katz, a professor of medicine and health policy at University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues.

Rheumatoid arthritis, which causes pain, swelling and loss of joint function, affects about 1.3 million Americans and occurs in women twice as often as in men. It is different from age-related osteoarthritis.

The study is scheduled for presentation Sunday at the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting, in Washington, D.C.

Katz said the findings suggest that depression and depressive symptoms are a significant risk factor for death in rheumatoid arthritis patients, although it is not necessarily part of the disease process.

"Patients need to be made aware that depression is something to pay attention to in [rheumatoid arthritis], and they need to tell their physician about it. Rheumatologists and other health care providers need to be aware of the problem of depression in the clinical setting," Katz concluded.

Data and conclusions presented at medical meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

And while the study found an association between depressed rheumatoid arthritis patients and risk of death, it did not prove a causal relationship.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has more about rheumatoid arthritis.

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse Hospital First in Region to Use New da Vinci Xi Surgical System
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

CrouseSports Express After-Hours Ortho Care

Immediate care of orthopedic injuries in kids and adults.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >