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Arthritis Commonly Reported in Older Adults with Depression

A new study has found that arthritis is commonly reported in older adults with varying degrees of depression, highlighting the importance of screening and treating arthritis-related pain in these patients.
Published Online: Oct 10,2018
Jennifer Barrett, Associate Editor
A new study has found that arthritis is commonly reported in older adults with varying degrees of depression, highlighting the importance of screening and treating arthritis-related pain in these patients.
 
The study, published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, set out to determine arthritis rates among older US adults with depressive symptoms. The researchers used National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 2011 to 2014 to identify participants aged 50 years and older with depressive symptoms and self-reported physician-diagnosed arthritis.
 
Physician-diagnosed arthritis, a costly and often disabling chronic condition, occurs in 24.3% of adults older than 45 years to 47.4% in adults aged 65 years and older, according to the study. Arthritis and depression are well established comorbidities, with the prevalence rates of depression in US adults aged 45 years and older with arthritis estimated to be 18%. However, depressive symptoms are often under-treated and poorly understood when it comes to this patient population, the authors noted.
 
The data included 2483 women and 2309 men. Of the total sample, 43.7% reported physician-diagnosed arthritis. Among the subgroup with minor depression, 55% reported having a diagnosis of arthritis and prevalence rates of depression were similar across the various age subgroups.

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