Background Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease leading to disability and premature death. In Central Europe the prevalence of RA amounts to 0.41% in women and 0.15% in men. Rheumatic disorders are progress more mildly in Southern Europe, which can suggest that Mediterranean diet influences their course even though the impact of this influence is limited.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a group of disorders leading to similar health consequences. It is estimated that the lifetime risk of occurrence of OA of e.g. the knee amounts to almost 45%
Objectives Rheumatic disorders require appropriate and suitable nutrition of patients, the aim of which is to strengthen the therapeutic process. The diet should reduce inflammatory reaction and the pain. Because of the diversity of rheumatic disorders the persons suffering from RA should apply a different diet comparing to the persons suffering from OA.
Methods An anonymous questionnaire study was carried out among the patients of the Institute of Rheumatology in Warsaw in 2012. 397 questionnaires were collected. In this group 165 respondents (42%) declared living with RA and 107 respondents (27%) with OA. Questionnaires completed by people living with both those diseases were included only to the group with RA. The questionnaire was composed of 25 questions: on the type of diet and the quality of life.
Results Majority of respondents (87%) were women; median age of all patients was: 59 years in group with RA and of 61 years with OA.
As many as 61% of respondents with RA and 75% with OA have declared that the diet influences their rheumatic disorders. However only 32% declared that change his/her diet after diagnosis - mostly without consultation of the diet with a doctor or a dietician.
It results from the survey that majority of the Institute's patients suffer from overweight or obesity: with RA - 50% and with OA - 70%.
66% of respondents with RA and 63% with OA have declared use of supplements during the last 6 months, most often: calcium – by 66% with RA and 50% with OA. glucosamine sulphate - by 40% with OA and 12% with RA. Among the users of supplements 44% of respondents with RA and 42% with OA used dietary supplementation without doctor's supervision
The average assessment of fitness (HAQ) in the study group amounted: 0.93 for people with RA and 0.40 – with OA.
Subjective assessment of the health status was similar in both group: 33% patients with RA and 31% with OA replied “good” or “very good”; 17% with RA and 14% with OA declared their health condition as “bad” or “very bad”. Remaining respondents assessed their health as “neither good, nor bad”.
Conclusions Rheumatological patients are aware that the diet influences health status in their disease. No significant relation between higher level of disability and the type of diet as well as the value of BMI was demonstrated in relation to the persons with HAQ<1.
Disclosure of Interest None declared