The degree to which rheumatoid arthritis is active in the first year of diagnosis impacts subsequent rates of anxiety and depression in RA patients. That’s according to new research presented on June 15 in Amsterdam at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology.

When George Fragoulis, of University of Glasgow, and colleagues analyzed data from 848 patients, they found reductions in anxiety (from 19 to 13.4 percent) and in depression (from 12.2 to 8.2 percent) a year after rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.

“Our results demonstrate a number of interesting associations with socioeconomic and other
variables,” Fragoulis said in a EULAR news release. “Most interestingly c-reactive protein, which is a blood test marker for inflammation, was highly associated with depression but not anxiety at all time points. This provides further support to compelling data linking inflammation and depression.”