By: 7 June 2017
Half of adults with anxiety or depression report chronic pain

In a survey of adults with anxiety or a mood disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder, about half reported experiencing chronic pain, according to researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. The findings are published online in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

“The dual burden of chronic physical conditions and mood and anxiety disorders is a significant and growing problem,” said Silvia Martins, associate professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, and senior author.

The research examined survey data to analyse associations between DSM-IV-diagnosed mood and anxiety disorders and self-reported chronic physical conditions among 5,037 adults in São Paulo, Brazil. Participants were also interviewed in person.

Among individuals with a mood disorder, chronic pain was the most common, reported by 50 per cent, followed by respiratory diseases at 33 per cent, cardiovascular disease at 10 per cent, arthritis reported by 9 per cent, and diabetes by 7 per cent. Anxiety disorders were also common for those with chronic pain disorder at 45 per cent, and respiratory at 30 per cent, as well as arthritis and cardiovascular disease, each 11 per cent. Individuals with two or more chronic diseases had increased odds of a mood or anxiety disorder. Hypertension was associated with both disorders at 23 per cent.

“These results shed new light on the public health impact of the dual burden of physical and mental illness,” said Martins. “Chronic disease coupled with a psychiatric disorder is a pressing issue that health providers should consider when designing preventive interventions and treatment services – especially the heavy mental health burden experienced by those with two or more chronic diseases.”

Source: Science Daily

Reference: Melanie S. Askari, Laura Helena Andrade, Alexandre Chiavegatto Filho, Camila Magalhães Silveira, Erica Siu, Yuan-Pang Wang, Maria Carmen Viana, Silvia S. Martins. Dual burden of chronic physical diseases and anxiety/mood disorders among São Paulo Megacity Mental Health Survey Sample, Brazil. Journal of Affective Disorders, 2017; 220: 1 DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.05.027