THURSDAY, Jan. 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The prevalence of mental distress is 16.8 percent and the prevalence of depression is 32.1 percent among adults with arthritis, according to research published in the Jan. 3 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Janae D. Price, M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues estimated the state-specific prevalence of frequent mental distress and history of depression among adults with arthritis using 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data.

The researchers found that among adults with arthritis in the 50 states and District of Columbia, the median state age-adjusted prevalence rates of frequent mental distress and history of depression were 16.8 percent (range, 12.9 to 22.4 percent) and 32.1 percent (range, 17.7 to 36.6 percent), respectively. The age-adjusted prevalence of frequent mental distress was significantly higher among women than men (19.9 versus 14.6 percent) and among those who were lesbian/gay/bisexual versus heterosexual (28.0 versus 16.8 percent). Similar findings were seen for the prevalence of a history of depression, with corresponding prevalence rates of 36.3 versus 24.0 percent and 46.7 versus 30.5 percent, respectively.

“The prevalences of both frequent mental distress and history of depression among adults with arthritis suggests that all adults with arthritis might benefit from systematic mental health screening by their provider and, if indicated, referral to mental health services and self-management education programs and engagement with mental health and allied professionals in a variety of clinical and community settings,” the authors write.

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