Anxiety disorder among rheumatoid arthritis patients: Insights from real-life data

Abdulla Watad, Nicola L. Bragazzi, Mohammad Adawi, Gali Aljadeff, Howard Amital, Doron Comaneshter, Arnon D. Cohen, Daniela Amital

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Scopus citations


    Background Psychiatric disorders occur in a considerable proportion of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), often reflecting the difficulties of these patients in coping with a chronic debilitating disorder. Aim of the study To evaluate the proportion of anxiety disorder in RA patients using a large database analysis. Methods The study was designed as a case-control population-based study using data from the Clalit Health Services (CHS) database. Patients were defined as having RA or anxiety disorder when there was at least one documented diagnosis identified by the International Classification of Diseases-9 (ICD-9) from the medical records. The proportion of anxiety disorder was compared between RA patients and controls. A logistic regression model was used to estimate the association between RA and anxiety disorder in a multivariate analysis adjusted for age, gender and socioeconomic status (SES). Results The study included 11,782 patients with RA and 57,973 age- and sex-frequency matched controls. The proportion of anxiety in RA patients was higher than in controls (7.1% vs 6.3%, p=0.001). In multivariate analysis, RA was found to be independently associated with anxiety (OR 1.11 [95%CI 1.03–1.20], p=0.01). Our study has some shortcomings, as its cross-sectional nature does not allow to make inferences about a causal relationship between RA and anxiety. Conclusion Our study confirms the higher proportion of anxiety in RA patients, especially young women with low SES. Physicians should be aware of such findings and, therefore, apply proper screening strategies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)30-34
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
    StatePublished - 15 Apr 2017


    • Anxiety
    • Autoimmune diseases
    • Case-control study
    • Comorbidity
    • Rheumatoid arthritis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Clinical Psychology
    • Psychiatry and Mental health


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