New Study Finds People With Inflammatory Arthritis Are More Likely To Seek Mental Health Care


January 24, 2024 (Vancouver, BC) – People with inflammatory arthritis (IA) often face mental health issues as a result of this chronic disease and the impact it has on their everyday lives. A recent study conducted by a team of scientists at Arthritis Research Canada has found a link between IA and the need for mental health treatment and medication. 

This research aimed to describe patterns of depression and anxiety health care before and after a diagnosis among people with IA, including: ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The study was conducted using administrative health data from British Columbia, Canada and compared a group of over 80,000 people with IA and a similar group without IA. 

Results show that people with IA were more likely to seek help for depression and anxiety and use medications for these conditions, especially in the year before and after their IA diagnosis. This suggests that depression and anxiety are common among people with IA and might be early warning signs of the disease. In addition, the research shows that after 5 years of IA diagnosis, anxiety and depression remain consistent.

“The results of this study are revealing, but this is only a starting point,” said Dr. Alyssa Howren, Research Trainee at Arthritis Research Canada. “We need additional research to investigate alternative explanations as to why people with inflammatory arthritis have a higher requirement for mental health care and medication.” 

To learn more about this study click here




Arthritis Research Canada is the largest clinical arthritis research institution in North America. Our mission is to transform the lives of people living with arthritis through research and engagement. Arthritis Research Canada’s scientific director, Dr. Diane Lacaille is leading a team of over 100 researchers, trainees and staff whose life-changing research is creating a future where people living with arthritis have the knowledge and tools to triumph over pain and disability. Arthritis Research Canada is now conducting arthritis research from coast to coast with centres in British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, and Nova Scotia and scientists affiliated with seven major universities: University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Calgary, Université Laval, McGill University, Université de Montréal, and Dalhousie University. Arthritis Research Canada is leading research aimed at preventing arthritis, facilitating early diagnosis, finding new and better treatments, and improving quality of life.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Victoria Rubio

Marketing and Communications Officer 

Arthritis Research Canada

604-207-4010 or vrubio@arthritisresearch.ca

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