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Low socioeconomic status increases depression risk in rheumatoid arthritis patients
Date:1/26/2011

A recent study confirmed that low socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with higher risk of depressive symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Statistically significant differences in race, public versus tertiary-care hospital, disability and medications were found between depressed and non-depressed patients. Study findings are reported in the February issue of Arthritis Care & Research, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR).

Roughly 1.3 million Americans are affected by RAa chronic autoimmune disease that can cause functional limitations and may lead to physical disability in many patients. Prior studies have shown that depression is common, occurring in 13% to 42% of RA patients and is associated with worse outcomes, including greater risk of heart attack, suicide, and death. In the U.S., socioeconomic position as measured by race, gender, age, income, education and health access has significant impact on overall health.

Mary Margaretten, M.D., from the Arthritis Research Group at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and lead study author explained, "We assessed the extent to which low SES influences the relationship between disability and depression in order to better identify those patients at higher risk for depression." Researchers used data obtained from the UCSF RA cohort in which participants were enrolled from an urban county, public hospital that serves the poor and a referral, tertiary-care medical center. The data included 824 visits for 466 patients, 223 from the public hospital and 243 from the tertiary-care clinic.

Analysis showed that 37% of participants had moderate to severe depression, scoring 10 or higher on the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). The mean Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) score was 1.2 and the disease activity score (DAS28) was 4, indicating fairly high levels of functional impairment and diseas
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Contact: Dawn Peters
healthnews@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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