Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Background: osteoarthritis (OA) is associated with a number of medical morbidities. Although the prevalence of depression and depressive symptoms is presumed to be high in people with OA, no prospective comparative study has analyzed its incidence. Objective: to determine whether OA was associated with an increased odds of developing depressive symptoms. Design: longitudinal cohort study (follow-up: 4.2 years). Setting: data were gathered from the North American Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) dataset. Subjects: people at higher risk developing OA. Methods: OA diagnosis was defined as the presence of OA at hand, knee, hip, back/neck or other sites at baseline. Depressive symptoms were defined using the 20-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (cut-off 16 points) after 4 years. Results: a total of 3,491 people without depressive symptoms at baseline were analyzed (1,506 with OA/1,985 without). Using an adjusted logistic regression analysis for 12 potential confounders, people with OA had a similar odds of depressive symptoms at follow-up compared to those without OA (odds ratio (OR): 1.26; 95% confidence of interval (CI): 0.95-1.67). However, multi-site OA (i.e. OA ≥2 sites; OR: 1.48, 95% CI: 1.07-2.05) and the specific presence of hip (OR: 1.72; 95% CI: 1.08-2.73) or knee OA (OR: 1.43; 95% CI: 1.03-1.98) were associated with a greater odds of developing depressive symptoms compared to people without OA. Conclusions: this is the first study of longitudinal data to demonstrate people with multi-site, hip or knee OA have a greater odds of developing depressive symptoms compared to people without OA. This suggests that OA may be associated with future mental health burden.

Original publication




Journal article


Age ageing

Publication Date





470 - 476


depression, depressive symptoms, epidemiology, older people, osteoarthritis, Aged, Chi-Square Distribution, Comorbidity, Depression, Female, Humans, Incidence, Logistic Models, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Mental Health, Middle Aged, Multivariate Analysis, Odds Ratio, Osteoarthritis, Hip, Osteoarthritis, Knee, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors, Surveys and Questionnaires, Time Factors, United States