Women in reproductive age with rheumatic diseases (RD) are especially vulnerable for depression and anxiety which negatively impacts the pregnancy, birth, and RD. The purpose of this study is to describe the frequency of anxiety and depression symptoms employing the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) in women in reproductive age. We conducted an observational, single-center, cross-sectional, and descriptive study in reproductive-age, non-pregnant women without a prior psychiatric diagnosis. Differences between disease groups, subscale results, and disease activity were analyzed with the Chi square, Mann-Whitney U test, or Kruskal-Wallis test. A total of 100 women were included. Mean age was 35.3 years (SD = 10.07). The most frequent diagnosis was rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with 48, followed by systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) with 30. A total of 66 (66%) patients had an abnormal HADS score (probable or possible cases) in either subscale. More than 50% of RA patients had an abnormal HADS score. We found an association between RA disease activity groups and total HADS score (p = 0.003). Furthermore, we found a statically significant association between RA activity groups and HADS anxiety subscales group classification (p = 0.01). No differences between disease activity groups of SLE or other diseases and HADS classification or total score was found (p = 0.277). A high frequency of probable or possible cases of depression and anxiety were recognized in reproductive-age women with RD. A high RA disease activity was associated with a high total HADS score and an increased presence of anxiety symptoms.
Keywords: Anxiety disorders; Depression; Hospital anxiety and depression scale; Reproductive health; Rheumatic diseases; Rheumatoid arthritis.
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