According to a research abstract that was presented on Wednesday, June 10, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) negatively affect women's sleep. Sleep is further impaired by pain, depression and poor adherence to RA medications.
Results indicate that length of time since RA diagnosis, RA disease activity, level of pain, depression symptoms and adherence to medications for RA may cause women suffering from the disease to have poor sleep quality.
According to lead author Faith Luyster, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh, Pa., findings emphasize the need for further research concerning poor RA medication adherence and sleep quality.
"Treating depression in women with RA may not only improve sleep but may also improve pain and adherence to medications," said Luyster.
The study involved 133 women with RA; their average age was 56 years, and they were primarily Caucasian, married, had at least a high school education, were not depressed and had RA for 14.76 years. A majority of participants (71 percent) reported poor sleep quality. Pain and depression were measured through subjective reports, and medication adherence was measured objectively with an electronic medication monitor on medication bottle caps.
Sleep disturbances and depression are more prevalent in women in the general population. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), women face many challenges that interfere with their sleep quality and duration.