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Do depression and anxiety reduce the likelihood of remission in rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis? Data from the prospective multicentre NOR-DMARD study


Objective To investigate the predictive value of baseline depression/anxiety on the likelihood of achieving joint remission in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) as well as the associations between baseline depression/anxiety and the components of the remission criteria at follow-up.

Methods We included 1326 patients with RA and 728 patients with PsA from the prospective observational NOR-DMARD study starting first-time tumour necrosis factor inhibitors or methotrexate. The predictive value of depression/anxiety on remission was explored in prespecified logistic regression models and the associations between baseline depression/anxiety and the components of the remission criteria in prespecified multiple linear regression models.

Results Baseline depression/anxiety according to EuroQoL-5D-3L, Short Form-36 (SF-36) Mental Health subscale ≤56 and SF-36 Mental Component Summary ≤38 negatively predicted 28-joint Disease Activity Score <2.6, Simplified Disease Activity Index ≤3.3, Clinical Disease Activity Index ≤2.8, ACR/EULAR Boolean and Disease Activity Index for Psoriatic Arthritis ≤4 remission after 3 and 6 months treatment in RA (p≤0.008) and partly in PsA (p from 0.001 to 0.73). Baseline depression/anxiety was associated with increased patient’s and evaluator’s global assessment, tender joint count and joint pain in RA at follow-up, but not with swollen joint count and acute phase reactants.

Conclusion Depression and anxiety may reduce likelihood of joint remission based on composite scores in RA and PsA and should be taken into account in individual patients when making a shared decision on a treatment target.

  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • psoriatic arthritis
  • remission
  • depression
  • anxiety

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