Background There is a need to enable comparable spondyloarthropathy (SpA) prevalence estimates in Europe, which was made possible by the unique European EULAR project methodology
Objectives to estimate the SpA prevalence in Serbia, as part of the EULAR study
Methods In a detection phase, a previously translated and validated telephone Questionnaire comprising of signs, symptoms and self-reported diagnosis (1) was used by 30 lay interviewers on a representative sample of 6213 randomly selected telephone numbers (every 100-th), from urban Serbian population: Belgrade (north) and Cacak, Uzice and Krusevac (south). Suspected cases have received a second call by a rheumatologist. In a confirmation phase, for patients with self-reported diagnosis and positive symptoms patient's rheumatologist was contacted to confirm diagnosis; a complete rheumatologist examination was arranged for those with positive symptoms only. Prevalence estimates were standardised for age and sex with relation to Serbian population (census 2002).
Results The response rate was 63,6% (3950 respondents). Second call was received by 571 people, among whom 16 SpA cases were confirmed (11 diagnosed previously and 5 newly-diagnosed during the rheumatology examination). The Serbian standardized SpA prevalence was 0,32% (95% confidence interval-CI: 0,14-0,50), it was 0,34% (95% CI 0,04-0,64) for men and 0,31% (95% CI: 0,09-0,53) for women. The prevalence for ankylosing spondylitis was 0,08% (95% CI 0,03-0,13), for psoriatic arthritis 0,09% (95% CI 0,03-0,15), for reactive arthritis (morbus Reiter) 0,10% (95% CI 0,04-0,16), for enteropathic arthritis (associated with inflammatory bowel diseases) 0,03% (95% CI 0,00-0,06) and for undifferentiated spondyloarthropathy 0,02% (95% CI 0,00-0,05).
Conclusions Compared to prevalence studies using the same methodology and design, SpA prevalence estimates in Serbia are close to France (2), but lower than those reported from Lithuania (3).
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.
Saraux A, Guillemin F, Guggenbuhl P, Roux CH, Fardellone P, Le Bihan E, et al. Prevalence of spondyloarthropathies in France: 2001. Ann Rheum Dis. 2005 Oct;64(10):1431–35.
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