Over half of women with rheumatic diseases may have anxiety and/or depression

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Nation's Joint Problems, Arthritis Research UK, arthritis campaign, arthritis magazine, arthritis informationWomen with rheumatic diseases are known to be vulnerable for depression and anxiety and the issue may be more severe than was previously thought, a team of scientists warns in Rheumatology International.

The team looked at data from 100 women (average age 35 years), most of whom had rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. They found that 66% of the women had abnormal

Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) scores. And high disease activity was associated with a high total HADS score and an increased presence of anxiety symptoms. It’s important that this is looked at further and that people with rheumatoid arthritis get the support they need, as anxiety and depression can negatively impact pregnancy, birth and the symptoms of the rheumatic disease itself.

Worried about your mental health? The charity Mind has lots of useful online resources (visit www.mind.org.uk). Another good option is the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (visit www.nras.org.uk or tel 0800 298 7650) as many of its volunteers have rheumatoid arthritis themselves.

Click here to read the original research.

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