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How common is depression in patients with polymyalgia rheumatica?

Mallen; Bucknall; Belcher; Hider



Depression is common in inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus and negatively impacts on outcomes. Given the long-term nature of polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) and its glucocorticoid treatment, these patients may be at an increased risk of depression, although few studies exist to date. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of, and factors associated with, depression in PMR patients. Prevalent PMR patients (with a first diagnostic code for PMR in the last 3 years) were mailed a postal questionnaire (n = 704) examining PMR symptoms, glucocorticoid use and patient reported comorbidities. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire-8 (PHQ-8), with a score of =10 defined as current depressive symptoms. Logistic regression was used to examine association between demographics, comorbidity and current depressive symptoms. Five hundred fifty (78%) patients responded, of which 365 (66%) were female, with a mean (SD) age of 74.1 years (8.4). The prevalence of current depressive symptoms was 15% (n = 81) and was significantly associated with female gender: OR 1.87 (95%CI 1.08-3.22), current PMR symptoms: OR 2.1 (1.11-3.97), self-reported acid reflux: OR 1.75 (1.05-2.93) and diabetes: OR 2.86 (1.6-5.09). Older patients were less likely to report current depressive symptoms (OR 0.35 (0.13-0.9) for those >80 years versus those aged 50-59 years). Depressive symptoms are common in patients with PMR patients, especially younger patients and those with comorbidities. Clinicians should consider screening these patients for depressive symptoms and managing them appropriately, as untreated depression may negatively impact on health-related outcomes and quality of life.


Mallen, Bucknall, Belcher, & Hider. (2018). How common is depression in patients with polymyalgia rheumatica?. Clinical Rheumatology, 1633 - 1638.

Acceptance Date May 18, 2017
Publication Date Jun 1, 2018
Journal Clinical Rheumatology
Print ISSN 0770-3198
Publisher Springer Verlag
Pages 1633 - 1638
Keywords Depression
Polymyalgia rheumatica
Publisher URL