Prevalence of depression and anxiety in rheumatoid arthritis patients and their associations with serum vitamin D level

Dan Pu, Jing Luo, Yanhua Wang, Bomiao Ju, Xiaohong Lv, Ping Fan, Lan He
Clinical Rheumatology 2018, 37 (1): 179-184
Vitamin D deficiency may be associated with depression in the general population. This study aimed to describe the prevalence of depression and anxiety in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients from Northwestern China and identify associations of Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD) and Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) scores with serum vitamin D level in these patients. We recruited 161 RA patients inform the First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University during Nov. 2016 to Feb. 2017. All patients completed a survey including HAMD and HAMA scales. RA activity (DAS28) was scored by a rheumatologist, and serum 25-OH-D3 levels were measured by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. The data were analyzed using the SPSS16.0 based on "possible and probable" cut points for HAMD and HAMA. About 62 and 60% of patients had some degrees of depression and anxiety, respectively. The mean of serum 25-OH-D3 levels in RA patients with depression was 15.24 ± 8.78 ng/mL, which was significantly lower than those without depression (24.68 ± 10.98 ng/mL, p = 0.009). Despite negative correlations between serum 25-OH-D3 level and the score of HAMD (r = - 0.520, p < 0.001) or HAMA (r = - 0.469, p < 0.001), there was a positive correlations between DAS28and the score of HAMD (r = 0.459, p = 0.001) or HAMA (r = 0.486, p < 0.001). The multivariate logistic regression showed that disease duration, serum 25-OH-D3 level, and treatment of tumor necrosis factor inhibitor were associated with depression/anxiety in RA patients. Our study shows a high prevalence of depression and anxiety in RA patients from Northwestern China. Both disease activity of RA and low serum 25-OH-D3 level are associated with the severity of depression and anxiety. It is imperative for clinicians to screen hypovitaminosis of vitamin D and depression/anxiety in RA patients.

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