Tokyo, Mar 31 (PTI) Knee pain from osteoarthritis (OA), which damages the quality of life, can in turn lead to depression, a study has found.

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.

According to the researchers from Japan, knee osteoarthritis affects some 55 per cent of people over age 40 in the country.

They examined information from 573 people aged 65 or older. 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, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

People 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, noted the researchers.

The researchers concluded that asking older adults with knee pain whether they have pain at night in bed, when putting on socks, or while getting in or out of a car could be useful for helping to screen people at risk for developing depression.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.