Background The incidence of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) varies among different populations. In developed countries, it ranges from 5-50/100000. According to several studies, women are more commonly affected than men. In addition, RA incidence increases with age, until the eighth decade, when it begins to fall.
Objectives The aim of our study is to evaluate the RA incidence in the adult population in the city of Tirana, Albania
Methods The study was performed during the period of time 2009-2012 on all the patients diagnosed with RA in all the primary health care services of Tirana, Albania. The diagnosis of RA was based on the clinical signs and symptoms and laboratory tests including measurement of rheumatoid factor.
The RA incidence was calculated by presuming an average denominator of 800000 inhabitants (the mean population in Tirana city during the period of study). The T test was utilized for quantitative values. The Fisher test was used for the comparison of proportions of different cohorts.
Results Totally, there were identified 817 cases with RA during the four year period 2009-2012. 529 (65%) were women and 288 (35%) were men. The average age was 62.4±8.6 in men versus 62.8±7.8 in women. (P=0.19).
From the overall 817 patients with RA, 78 cases were newly diagnosed. The annual incidence was 78 (newly diagnosed cases)/800000 (mean population)/4 (years of study) = 2.43/100000 inhabitants.
Conclusions This study provides new evidence about the incidence of RA in Tirana city. It supports the data showing that RA increases with age in males and females and on the other hand, it is found more often in women than in men.
Disclosure of Interest None declared