medwireNews: Depression in patients with incident rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with a sixfold increased risk for mortality, delegates were told at the EULAR 2022 Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Using filling an antidepressant prescription for the first time as a proxy for depression, Jens Kristian Pedersen (Odense University Hospital, Svendborg, Denmark) and colleagues followed up 11,071 patients with incident RA from the nationwide DANBIO register for 56,993 person–years. None of the participants had filled prescriptions for methotrexate or antidepressants in the 3 years prior.
In all, 1095 (10%) patients were exposed to antidepressants; the majority were women and diagnosed with seropositive rather than seronegative RA, at 71% and 61%, respectively.
The risk for death among patients exposed to antidepressants was highest for those younger than 55 years of age, with a hazard ratio of 6.66, after taking into account sex, comorbidity, cohabitation, employment status, education, and income. However, the risk for death was still increased across all ages, for men and women, and for those with seropositive or negative RA.
At 10 years, the Kaplan–Meier mortality curves showed a cumulative rate of approximately 37.5% among patients with depression, compared with 12.5% among those without, and the curves “separated early […] within the first and second year of follow-up,” noted Pedersen.
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