Depressive symptoms in early rheumatoid arthritis: A comparative longitudinal study

Eva Palkonyai, Gernot Kolarz, Maria Kopp, Gabor Bogye, Peter Temesvari, Laszlo Palkonyay, Istvan Ratko, Eszter Meszaros

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Our objective was to investigate symptoms of depression in early rheumatoid arthritis (eRA) patients, and follow them longitudinally during a 3-year prospective study of 73 Hungarian and 45 Austrian early rheumatoid arthritis patients. Compared to validated national population data, mild symptoms of depression were detected in Hungarian early rheumatoid arthritis patients, which were independent of corticosteroid use. In the Hungarian subgroup, the Beck Depression Inventory scores were found to be stable during follow-up. Except at the baseline visit, depressive symptoms and functional status, as measured by the Health Assessment Questionnaire, were correlated. Significant differences were detected between Austrian and Hungarian patients despite of their geographical and cultural proximity. The mean depression score was higher in the Hungarian when compared to the Austrian patients. Depression is an important feature of early rheumatoid arthritis. Studies assessing depression in rheumatoid arthritis patients must be based on validated national data of normal population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-758
Number of pages6
JournalClinical rheumatology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2007



  • Beck depression inventory
  • Depression
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology

Cite this

Palkonyai, E., Kolarz, G., Kopp, M., Bogye, G., Temesvari, P., Palkonyay, L., Ratko, I., & Meszaros, E. (2007). Depressive symptoms in early rheumatoid arthritis: A comparative longitudinal study. Clinical rheumatology, 26(5), 753-758.