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Frailty Affects Nearly Half of Older Patients With Ankylosing Spondylitis or Psoriatic Arthritis

MedPage Today interviews HSS rheumatologist Sarah B. Lieber, MD, MS, about her study published in ACR Open Rheumatology finding that frailty had an impact on the lives of almost half of Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years or older who had ankylosing spondylitis (AS) or psoriatic arthritis (PsA). This was higher than the prevalence of frailty in younger groups; the condition was linked to higher levels of anxiety in both age groups.

According to Dr. Lieber, “Frailty is increasingly recognized as an important risk factor for adverse health outcomes in multiple rheumatic conditions, including RA. We were interested in evaluating the prevalence of frailty in adults with AS and PsA relative to adults with RA.”

She continued, “We also were interested in assessing whether other clinically relevant factors, such as anxiety, were more common among frail adults compared to non-frail adults with any of these forms of inflammatory arthritis.”

Dr. Lieber explained, “Mental health, including anxiety, is important to consider in adults with inflammatory arthritis. To our knowledge, the higher prevalence of anxiety among frail versus non-frail patients with inflammatory arthritis other than RA has not been previously observed. The prevalence of anxiety in frail enrollees in this study, particularly among those younger than age 65, exceeded the prevalence of anxiety previously reported among Medicare enrollees.”

She added, “The association between frailty and anxiety in patients with inflammatory arthritis needs to be explored further. Whether or not the presence of mental health comorbidity may accelerate the development of frailty is unknown.”

Read the full article at Medpagetoday.com.