Low Income Arthritis Patients Are More Likely to Suffer from Depression

By Staff Writer

Rheumatoid arthritis can be a debilitating illness that can impair an individual’s quality of life. However, sufferers of the disease are more likely develop depression if they have lower socioeconomic status, according to a new study from University of California researchers.

Many individuals who are diagnosed with arthritis end up developing mood disorders. Chronic pain treatment can improve these symptoms, but the fact that there is no cure for the condition can be very discouraging.

However, the research team found that these problems can be intensified in individuals from lower income levels. They administered standard tests for depressive symptoms to 466 individuals who were seeking chronic paint treatment throughout California.

They found that the participants who were receiving care from state-run hospitals – which they took as a sign of few economic resources – were much more likely to suffer from depression.

“The psychological effects of disability vary in patients with RA such that a vulnerable population with functional limitations is at higher risk of developing depressive symptoms,” the researchers wrote in their report.