Inflammatory disease linked to depression and anxiety

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Higher levels of depression and anxiety are experienced by people with inflammatory disease, particularly those who are younger, says research in the Annals of the Rheumatic Disease.

Scientists looked at data from 180,163 adults diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, ankylosing spondylitis, vasculitis, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. None of the volunteers had anxiety or depression at the time of inflammatory disease diagnosis. They were then matched with 358,544 people without inflammatory disease by age and gender.

Key findings

  • Depression and anxiety events were 16% higher in people with inflammatory diseases, compared with those in the control group;
  • The age of people diagnosed with inflammatory disease had an impact too, with those diagnosed before the age of 40 years more likely to be affected than people diagnosed after 60 years.

“Patients with inflammatory disorders have elevated rates of depression and anxiety incidence, particularly those patients with early-onset inflammatory disorders,” the scientists explain. “This finding may reflect the impact of the underlying disease on patients’ quality of life.”

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