Again! Another immunological link to mental illness. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease, meaning your own immune system attacks your joints and connective tissue, and people who have RA have a higher prevalence of anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. My family is a prime example, my grandmother had RA, my mother had Lupus and RA, I have food sensitivities, all of these are due to the immune system, and my mother had major depression, I have bipolar 1 disorder and my grandmother, although not formally diagnosed, may have had a few mental health conditions. I know this is only one family but please look at the article below. The link between the immune system and mental illness is real. I hope there will be a better understanding and better therapies due to this understanding soon!
Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder more prevalent among patients with RA
To determine the incidence and prevalence of various psychiatric disorders and conditions among patients with RA compared with those without RA in the general population, the researchers studied health data from Manitoba. They identified 10,206 cases of incident RA between 1989 and 2012, as well as a general-population cohort of 50,960 individuals, and matched the two groups 5:1 based on birth year, sex and region.
In addition, the researchers used validated algorithms for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia to find the annual incidence of these conditions following an RA diagnosis, as well as their lifetime and annual prevalence..
According to the researchers, after adjusting for age, sex, region, number of physician visits and year, patients with a diagnosis of RA demonstrated a greater incidence of depression throughout the study period (IRR = 1.46; 95% CI, 1.35-1.58). Patients with RA also had great incidences of anxiety (IRR = 1.24; 95% CI, 1.15-1.34) and bipolar disorder (IRR = 1.21; 95% CI, 1-1.47). However, schizophrenia incidence did not differ between the two groups. Lifetime and annual prevalence of depression and anxiety were also greater among patients with RA, compared with the general-population cohort.
“Over a lifetime, more than one-third of persons with rheumatoid arthritis are likely to experience depression, and 45% are likely to experience an anxiety disorder,” Marrie said. “Given the very high prevalence of psychiatric disorders in rheumatoid arthritis, clinicians need to be proactive about identifying and treating these conditions appropriately. Clinicians should be aware that women, and those of lower socioeconomic status are at particularly increased risk of these disorders.” – by Jason Laday