Background Several clinical cohorts and databases over the past decades indicate that RA is associated with a high number of comorbidities. Along with tight control of RA inflammatory activity, the role of those comorbidities may diminish that are associated with inflammatory activity.
Objectives To study the profile of comorbidities in patients with RA and community controls.
Methods All RA patients from a hospital district of 275,000 people are included in a RA database. For each RA patient, three age, sex and habitat matched control subjects were randomly sampled from the population register. Patients and control subjects were mailed an extended health assessment questionnaire which also included a list of comorbidities with a request to indicate with “x” diseases that apply.
Results The response rate was 70% including 1635 RA patients (with median disease duration of 11 years) and 4264 controls; 73% were female, the mean age was 65 years in both groups. Prevalence of cardiovascular diseases and traditional CV risk factors were similar between groups or lower in RA. Prevalence of lung diseases, fibromyalgia (FM), osteoporosis (OP), and cataracts was higher in RA patients, whereas prevalence of cancer, chronic back pain, and musculoskeletal trauma was higher in population.
Discussion Results indicate higher prevalence for lung comorbidity, OP, and cataracts in RA, related to RA and/or its treatments. More frequent diagnostic tests may influence prevalence of OP and FM. RA may protect from life style that is associated with chronic back pain and musculoskeletal trauma. Prevalence of CV disease and its risk factors was similar between the groups or lower in RA, indicating favorable changes compared to historical data.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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