Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: To investigate the correlation between depressive-anxiety symptoms, mixed features, disease activity, and functional status in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the light of the shared underlying etiology in both disorders. Materials and methods: The study included 556 patients with RA. RA disease activity was measured using the Disease Activity Score 28-joint count C reactive protein (DAS28-CRP), and the patients were evaluated by a Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ). The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ), and Modified Hypomania Checklist (mHCL) were used to evaluate the mixed depression and bipolarity status of the patients. Results: Of the patients, 430 (77.3%) were female and 126 (22.7%) were male. The median age was 57 years, the median HAQ score was 0.55 points, and the median DAS28-CRP score was 4.1 points. The evaluation of the patients by DAS28-CRP revealed that 58.5% of the patients had moderate and severe disease activity, while only 23.4% of them were in remission. The group using the combination of synthetic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (sDMARD) and steroid therapy had significantly higher HAD-depression, HADanxiety, mHCL, DAS28-CRP, HAQ, and MDQ scores than the group using sDMARD alone. The grouping of the patients based on the DAS28-CRP cut-off scores showed that the patients with moderate and severe disease activity had significantly higher HADS, mHCL, MDQ scores than those in remission and those with mild disease activity (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Disease severity and functional status in RA can be affected by comorbid anxiety-depressive and mixed symptoms. Therefore, clinicians should consider screening the depressive-anxiety and mixed mood symptoms of RA patients. Moreover, patients who use steroid therapy are more susceptible to mood symptoms (anxiety, depression, bipolarity), which should also be considered during the follow-up of patients.


Arthritis, rheumatoid, bipolar disorder/psychology, depression/psychology, prevalence

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