Healthy Living

What Depression Does to Flare Ups in a RA Patient

What role does mental health play?

Mental health was identified by the 36-Item Short Form Survey (SF-36) Mental Health (MH) subscale. The MH score ranges from 0 to 100. The lower scores indicate more severe depressive symptoms. The current study found that with every 10-point reduction in MH score, the risk of flare ups increased by 19%. After adjusting certain factors (patient’s age, gender, RA disease activity, body mass index) and reducing their TNF dose by either 33% or 66%, MH was found to be the only trigger of flare ups. “The captured flare events in the OPTTIRA study are more likely to represent a genuine inflammatory disease flare and less likely influenced by low mood or depression” stated the researchers.