In a population based epidemiological survey of juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA), performed in Western Sweden in 1983, an incidence of 12/100,000 was found. The estimated prevalence was 56/100,000. Subgroup distribution showed a preponderance of mono- and pauciarticular forms. The peak age of onset was between 0 and 4 years of age. Girls predominated over boys in a ratio of 3:2. Overall, 30% were antinuclear antibody (ANA) positive, 9% rheumatoid factor (RF) positive, and eye involvement occurred in 10% of the children. The results suggest differences in population based studies of JCA compared with previously reported hospital based series.
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