Background Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is often associated with secondary Sjögren's syndrome (SSs) with a prevalence ranging from 10 to 30 percent.
Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of SSs, characterize sSS patients and study the association between sSS and joint damage.
Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study of RA patients, according to ACR/EULAR 2010 classification criteria, followed up at the Department of Rheumatology. Demographic characteristics and RA features of disease were collected. Pain was measured using a visual analogue scale (VAS). Disease activity was assessed by the Disease Activity Score (DAS 28). Functional disability was evaluated by the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ). Joint destruction was assessed by the van der Heijde-modified Sharp Score. The diagnosis of SSs was made by a rheumatologist or confirmed by chart review. Data analysis was carried out using the SPSS 20 Software. p<0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results One hundred and four patients with a mean±SD age of 49.37 ± 13.21 years were enrolled. Eighty-nine percent were females. Mean±SD duration of symptoms was 10.88 ± 9.17 years. Rheumatoid factor was present in 75% of patients with RA. Seventeen patients (16.3%) had SSs. RA subjects with sSS had longer RA disease duration and higher sharp scores. VAS pain and functional disability were significantly higher in patients with sSS (p<0.05). The multivariate analysis showed that factors associated with joint destruction in patients with SSs were disease duration of RA (p=0.0001) and seropositivity by ACPA (P=0.006).
Conclusions In our study, RA patients with sSS had worse joint damage, suggesting that sSS is a marker of a more aggressive disease. Therefore, it is important to screen sSS symptoms in patients with RA.
Disclosure of Interest None declared