Background The rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as known, causes inability in various performance areas mostly in the musculoskeletal, but few is known about psychological problems and healthy/unhealthy derived habits in patients with RA. Culturally there is the prejudice that male gender acquires and preserves consumer habits (smoking and others) to be socially established. In patients with RA these habits become relevant because some of these routines (smoking principally) must change in order to improve prognosis of disease.
Objectives The aim of this study was to describe the socio-demographic and psychological profile of patients with RA in specialized RA clinic, and also to know about healthy and unhealthy habits and relationship with disease activity.
Methods A descriptive cross-sectional study was performed in a specialized clinic in Colombia dedicated to care patients with RA. 252 patients were included in the study, which were seen by the area of psychology, which information was collected through semi-structured interviews and non-probability sampling. Descriptive epidemiology was applied for continuous variables, using measures of central tendency and dispersion for categorical and qualitative variables by averages and percentages. By means of Pearson’s statistics it was analyzed bi-variated correlations.
Results Were 252 patients with RA, 214 (84.9%) women and 38 (15.1%) male, with average DAS28-3.5±0.8. Patients had a DAS28-3.52±0.85 in average. Medium age is 56.9±9 years; 44.4% of patients were medium socio-economical level and the 40.9% were low socio-economical level; 36% was married, 19.8% is divorced, 15.5% is single and others undefined. Related with the occupation, 31% is retired because age and the 17.9% have handicap retirement pay; 19.4% is dedicated to the housekeeping and 31.7% were working. Related to education 19.4% no education, 25% had elementary school, 29% didn’t finish high school, 18.2 were technical and only 8.4% finish high school. According to DSM-IV and to CIE-10 231 patients (91.6%) had psychological disorders, 85.4% had sexual and 58.8% had sleep disorders. From interviews was found that approximately 57% of women and 42,9% of men were smokers and 29,4% of women and 70,6% of men were drinkers until diagnosis of RA. In relation with present habits 91% of women do not report any unhealthy habits; smoking was reported by 3.74% and 2.36% drink alcohol. On the other hand, in men 52.4% did not report any unhealthy habits, while 15.8% reported being active smokers and 31.8% drink alcohol. In fact, 57% of smokers were at least in moderate disease activity. It was established a correlation between unhealthy habits and higher disease activity using DAS28 (p<0.006).
Conclusions According to these findings there is a prevalence of patients with low-medium socio-economical levels in RA which shows a possible correlation of a socio-demographic unfavorable situation with disease. RA patients with unhealthy habits (smoking principally) have more disease activity; also was found that a significant number of the population has dropped consumption of alcohol and smoking in order to improve prognosis of disease.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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