We investigated the association of depression with subsequent risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by serologic phenotype..
..Among 195,358 women, we identified 858 incident RA cases (65% seropositive) over 3,087,556 person‐years (median 17.9 years/participant). Compared to women without depression, those with depression had multivariable HRs (95%CIs) of: 1.28(1.10‐1.48) for all RA; 1.12(0.93‐1.35) for seropositive RA; and 1.63(1.27‐2.09) for seronegative RA. When analyzing components of the composite depression exposure variable, regular antidepressant use was not associated with subsequent seropositive RA (HR 1.21, 95%CI 0.97‐1.49) and was associated with seronegative RA (HR 1.75, 95%CI 1.32‐2.32).
Indicators of depression, specifically antidepressant use, were associated with subsequent increased risk for seronegative RA, and this finding was not explained by measured lifestyle factors prior to clinical presentation.