Background The relationship between thyroid disease and rheumatic disorders has been the subject of considerable debate. Thyroid abnormal function and/or autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) were observed in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), what could be explained by the natural feature of autoimmune diseases and their tendency to overlap (1,2).
Objectives To investigate the association of hypothyroidism and thyroid autoantibodies with RA and study their correlation with RA disease activity.
Methods One hundred and fifty RA patients & fifty control subjects were included in this study. RA patients were subjected to full medical & rheumatological history and examination as well as routine lab tests. Patients and controls underwent thyroid function testing including thyroid antibodies. Patients' disease activity was determined using the Modified Disease Activity Score (MDAS28), while their functional status was assessed with the Modified Health Assessment Questionnaire (MHAQ).
Results The commonest thyroid dysfunction was hypothyroidism which was found in 36 RA patients (24%), followed by subclinical hypothyroidism in 6 patients (4%) while, subclinical hyperthyroidism was present in 2 patients (1.3%). AITD was present in 10 patients (6.6%) and absent in the controls. There was a significant positive correlation between TSH levels and RA disease activity parameters.
Conclusions Hypothyroidism was the commonest thyroid disorder associated with RA, present in (24%) with a significant association with RA disease activity parameters.
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Disclosure of Interest None declared