More than 10 million Americans with arthritis have regular sleep disturbances. National survey data shows an especially high rate among arthritis patients – nearly 23 percent. Only about 16 percent of people without arthritis have sleep-related complaints.
The study published in the October issue of Arthritis Care & Research analyzed findings from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey. More than 23,134 American adults answered a variety of health-related questions. Topics ranged from diet and exercise, to substance use, sleep and chronic health problems.
Nearly 1 in 5 survey respondents said they had been diagnosed with arthritis. The study did not differentiate the two types of arthritis, inflammatory and non-inflammatory. Non-inflammatory arthritis is more common and is most often caused by aging and injury.
Patients with uncontrolled pain, depression and anxiety had the highest risk, the study found. Complaints included inability to fall asleep, interrupted sleep and daytime fatigue. The authors suggest pain and joint mobility limitations related to arthritis may predict sleep problems, rather than just a diagnosis.
Sleep disturbances are often neglected as symptoms of arthritis, the study concluded. The authors contend that doctors should ask arthritis patients about sleep problems, and provide treatment.