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March 21, 2019

Link between arthritis and depression needs our urgent attention

30% of those living with rheumatoid arthritis suffer from depression in the US.

By GlobalData Healthcare

In 2017, there were roughly 1.5 million diagnosed prevalent cases of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the US adult population. Of those, more than 30% had depression listed as a comorbid condition, making it the most common comorbid condition, according to GlobalData experts.

The graph presents the number of diagnosed cases of RA with comorbid depression from 2017–2027.

Diagnosed prevalent cases of rheumatoid arthritis with comorbid depression, men and women, ages, greater than or equal to 18 years, 2017–2027

Source: GlobalData

RA is an autoimmune disease whose causes remain unknown. The disease is characterised by inflammation of the joints, bone and cartilage erosion, and joint deformity often accompanied by reduced mobility and chronic pain.

Although the disease primarily affects the joints, it can also affect other parts of the body that over time may lead to more serious morbidity. The symptoms of the disease have been shown to significantly reduce a person’s quality of life which in many cases leads to depression.

RA alone already causes significant morbidity in a person’s life, but adding to that a condition such as depression only worsens the prognosis. Given a large number of people who suffer from both conditions simultaneously in the US, it is imperative that healthcare professionals address the comorbid conditions that often accompany RA.

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