The results of a study presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2016) confirmed a clear association between depression symptom severity and the level of disease activity and disability in adolescent patients with juvenile inflammatory arthritis (JIA). These findings highlight the importance of psychological health assessment for adolescents with JIA and underline the need for psychological support to be fully integrated into their routine care.
“We already know there is an association between depression and disease severity in rheumatoid arthritis. Children with JIA have also been shown to have depression, and this is associated with disability,” said Dr John Ioannou lead author from University College London, UK. “However, there has been much less work looking at depression in adolescents with JIA. Specifically, the association between depression and disease severity from initial assessment over a 48 month follow-up period has never been explored in this vulnerable age group with JIA,” Dr Ioannou explained.
Inflammatory arthritis is a chronic debilitating disease of childhood and adolescence. In the UK each year, an estimated 10 out of every 100,000 children will develop an inflammatory arthritis, with many subsequently being diagnosed with JIA, the most common chronic paediatric rheumatic disease. Although the disease course can be variable, with periods of activity followed by remission, previous studies have shown that up to 70% of children continue to report disability and limitation of their activities into adulthood, and the proportion is likely to be higher in those with adolescent-onset JIA.4.
Full story of depression linked to adolescents with arthritis at Science Daily