HealthDay News — One-third of U.S. adults with physician-diagnosed arthritis report having anxiety or depression, study results indicate.

Overall, anxiety was more prevalent than depression, at 31% vs. 18%, and 84% of respondents with depression also reported experiencing anxiety.

“Despite the clinical focus on depression among people with arthritis, anxiety was almost twice as common,” Louise B. Murphy, PhD, from the CDC’s Division of Population Health, and colleagues reported online in Arthritis Care & Research.

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They assessed data from the Arthritis Condition and Health Effects Survey, a cross-sectional, population based telephone survey, that included 1,793 U.S. adults with arthritis aged 45 years.

Despite the findings, only half of respondents with either anxiety or depression reported seeking treatment for their condition in the past year.

“Given their high prevalence, profound impact on quality of life, and range of effective treatments available, we encourage health care providers to screen all people with arthritis for both anxiety and depression,” the researchers concluded.

Murphy LB et al.  Arthritis Care Res. 2012;doi:10.1002/acr.21685.