Knee pain in the elderly, which can damage the quality of life, can make them prone to depression, researchers say.
Osteoarthritis occurs when a joint becomes inflamed, usually because the protective cartilage and other tissues that cushion joints like the knee become damaged and worn over time.
Knee pain from osteoarthritis can make it harder to take care of yourself, which can damage your quality of life. In turn, it can lead to depression.
The study, led by Yuji Nishiwaki from the Toho University in Japan, showed that elderly who experienced knee pain at night while in bed, while putting on socks, or while getting in or out of a car were more likely to report having symptoms of depression.
The team examined 573 people aged 65 or older for the study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
When the study began (between 2005 and 2006) none of the participants had symptoms of depression.
Two years later, nearly all of them completed follow-up interviews. The participants answered questions about their knee pain and were evaluated for symptoms of depression.
Nearly 12 per cent of the participants had developed symptoms of depression.
Another recently published study showed that both knee pain and functional impairments in elderly individuals are associated with the development of depressive symptoms.
“Examining elderly people’s responses to questions about pain at night and difficulties performing daily activities may be an efficient way of identifying those at high risk of developing depressive symptoms,” the researchers said.