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Depression & Anxiety

2004 Edition

New Research:
Chronic Pain Linked to Depression

People who have major depression are at increased risk for chronic pain, investigators report.

In telephone interviews of 18,980 Europeans (age 15 to 100), about 17% reported having at least one chronic pain condition, such as joint, limb, or back pain; headache; or a gastrointestinal disease like peptic ulcer, gastritis, or Crohn’s disease. This rate increased to 28% for people with at least one depressive symptom (17% of the study sample), and to 43% for people with major depression (4% of the study sample). People with major depression had a fourfold increased risk of having a chronic pain condition compared with people without major depression. The average period of depressive episodes was lengthened by about six months in people with chronic pain.

Pain may trigger depression in some people, while depression may occur before pain in others, the authors note. “Patients seeking consultation for a [chronic painful physical condition] should be systematically evaluated for depression,” they conclude.


Archives of General Psychiatry
Volume 60, page 39
January 2003


 


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2005
WHITE PAPERS
Depression & Anxiety

The Depression and Anxiety White Paper from The Johns Hopkins White Papers series is an annual, in-depth report written by Hopkins physicians.

 

 

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