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Chronic Pain Common in Adults With Depression, Anxiety

Study finds the double whammy is a significant and growing health problem

depressed man

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic pain afflicts about half of adults who have anxiety or depression, a new study finds.

More than 5,000 adults in Brazil diagnosed with anxiety or mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder were asked about other health problems.

Among those with a mood disorder, half reported chronic pain; 33 percent, respiratory diseases; 10 percent, heart disease; 9 percent, arthritis; and 7 percent, diabetes.

Among those with anxiety, 45 percent reported chronic pain; 30 percent, respiratory diseases; and 11 percent each for arthritis and heart disease.

Adults with two or more chronic diseases had an increased risk of a mood or anxiety disorder. High blood pressure was associated with both disorders at 23 percent, according to the Columbia University study published online June 1 in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

Senior author Dr. Silvia Martins said in a university news release that the study sheds new light on a significant, and growing, health challenge.

"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," said Martins, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more on mood disorders.

SOURCE: Columbia University, news release, May 31, 2017
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