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SAT0536 Prevalence of Rheumatoid Arthritis in Serbia (The Eular Study Project)
  1. M. I. Zlatkovic-Svenda1,
  2. R. M. Stojanovic2,
  3. S. Grujicic-Sipetic3,
  4. F. Guillemin4
  1. 1Institute of Rheumatology, Belgrade, Serbia
  2. 2University of Belgrade School of Medicine, Institute of Rheumatology
  3. 3University of Belgrade School of Medicine, Institute of Epidemiology, Belgrade, Serbia
  4. 44INSERM – CIC-EC, Department of clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation, University Hospital, and Université de Lorraine, Nancy, France


Background Prevalence estimates for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Europe are very discrepant. In order to minimize sources of differences between countries, a set of RA prevalence studies was conducted in Europe using a unique methodology.

Objectives To estimate the RA prevalence in Serbia, as a part of the RA prevalence study project in Europe, supported by EULAR.

Methods The original telephone Questionnaire was translated into Serbian language following guidelines for crosscultural adaptation. After a successful validation (1), it was used in a detection phase on urban population from four towns: Belgrade (north) and Cacak, Uzice and Krusevac (south), randomly selected from the telephone book (every 100-th). The confirmation phase was done by rheumatologist during a second phone call, where the suspected cases were asked questions about their physician, drugs taken and the treatment institution. In case of uncertain diagnosis, complete medical investigation was done. Prevalence estimates were standardised on Serbian population for age and sex (census 2002).

Results According to the study protocol, 6213 persons were contacted for detection leading to 3950 respondents (response rate 63,6%). For confirmation, 571 people were called by rheumatologist, confirming the diagnosis in 23 (4 male and 19 female), of whom 21 were previously identified as RA and 2 more at the examination. The overall standardised prevalence was 0.35% (95% CI 0.18 to 0.52), with 0.16% (95% CI 0.01 to 0.32) for men and 0.51% (95% CI 0.26 to 0.76) for women-a female to male ratio of 3.18. For the whole group, the highest age-specific rate of 1.28% was found in the 65-74 year age band.

Conclusions Comparing prevalence studies using the same methodology and design, RA prevalence results from Serbia are close to France (2), but lower than those reported from Lithuania (3).


  1. Zlatkovic-Svenda MI, Stojanovic RM, Milenkovic MP, Vlajinac HD, Le Bihan E, Guillemin F. Adaptation and validation of a telephone questionnaire – Serbian version for case detection of rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthropathy (multicentric Eular study). Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2007; 25 (1): 75-84

  2. Guillemin F, Saraux A, Guggenbuhl P, Roux CH, Fardellone P, Le Bihan E, Cantagrel A, Chary-Valckenaere I, Euller-Ziegler L, Flipo RM, Juvin R, Behier JM, Fautrel B, Masson C, Coste J. Prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in France: 2001. Ann Rheum Dis. 2005 Oct; 64(10): 1427–30

  3. Adomaviciute D, Pileckyte M, Baranauskaite A, Morvan J, Dadoniene J, Guillemin F. Prevalence survey of rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthropathy in Lithuania. Scand J Rheumatol. 2008 Mar-Apr;37(2):113–9

Disclosure of Interest None Declared

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