EULAR Annual Congress

EULAR Annual Congress

August 11, 2015
1 min read

Anxiety, depression, sleep disorders common in patients with rheumatic diseases

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A high prevalence of anxiety, depression and sleep disorders was observed in patients with rheumatic diseases, according to researchers.

A group of 84 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or spondylarthritis (SpA) was studied. Patients’ mean age was 46.25 years, mean disease duration was 14.62 years, 59.5% of the patients were women and all attended an outpatient rheumatology department in Portugal.

Patients were administered the Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score (ASDAS) or Disease Activity Score in 28 Joints (DAS28) as appropriate, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) and SF-36.

In 46 patients (54.8%), symptoms of anxiety and depression were detected. Among 30 of these patients (35.7%), scores indicated moderate anxiety or depression, whereas 14 patients (16.7%) were classified as having severe forms of anxiety or depression. Thirteen patients received antidepressant medication. Poor sleep quality was observed in 53 patients (63.1%); however, only 14 patients received a sleep medication, according to the researchers.

Analysis showed a strong, positive correlation between high anxiety, depression and sleep quality scores. The scores also correlated with high HAQ and pain on VAS and low SF-36 scores. Depression and sleep index scores positively correlated with ASDAS or DAS28 in patients with AS and RA, respectively, and with ASDAS and anxiety.

Female sex and marital status other than single correlated with higher levels of anxiety, more depressive symptoms and a history of hypertension. Patients who were employed and those who currently used glucocorticoids were also associated with higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms, whereas older age and longer disease duration correlated with poor sleep quality. No changes were seen after adjusting for the use of biologic or conventional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, disease type, habits or comorbidities, according to the researchers. – by Shirley Pulawski


Raposo A, et al. Paper #AB0230. Presented at: European League Against Rheumatism Annual European Congress of Rheumatology; June 10-13, 2015; Rome.

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.