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Insomnia in Arthritis Tied to Pain, Depression Ups Risk

Adults with arthritis having depression and anxiety are at highest risk of sleep disturbance

FRIDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Sleep disturbances are more prevalent among adults with arthritis compared to those without the disease, with the greatest risk affecting those with anxiety and depression, according to a study published in the February issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Grant H. Louie, M.D., of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues reviewed data from the United States in the 2007 National Health Interview Survey. They calculated the prevalence and mediators, and identified subgroups at risk for sleep disturbance (insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness, and sleep duration less than six hours) among adults with arthritis.

The researchers found that the adjusted prevalence of insomnia in the arthritis group (23.1 percent) was similar to the prevalence among those with other chronic diseases, and higher than the prevalence of insomnia among those without arthritis (16.4 percent). Adults with arthritis were more likely to report insomnia than those without arthritis (unadjusted odds ratio, 2.92). However, adjustments for sociodemographics and comorbidities weakened this association. Joint pain and physical limitations due to the pain were the conditions that affected the link between arthritis and insomnia. Adults with arthritis suffering from depression and anxiety were at highest risk for all evaluated forms of sleep disturbance.

"Patients with arthritis, especially those reporting pain or with depression or anxiety, should be regularly screened for sleep quality problems and have the causes of sleep problems treated appropriately," the authors write.

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