Background Vitamin D has immunomodulatory effects in a wide range of human autoimmune diseases; including Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Vitamin D deficiency is common in RA.
Objectives The objective of this study was to evaluate vitamin D status in RA patients and assess the relationship between vitamin D levels, disease activity, severity and physical disability.
Methods We included in this cross-sectional study patients with RA according to ACR/EULAR classification criteria, followed up at the Department of Rheumatology. Demographic characteristics and disease specific variables were collected. 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. Serum concentrations of 25(OH) Vitamin D were measured. According to the GRIO recommendations, 25(OH)D insufficiency was defined as 25(OH)D ranging from 10 to 30 ng/mL, and deficiency as 25(OH)D <10 ng/mL. Data analysis was carried out using the SPSS 20 Software. p<0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results Seventy-tree patients with a mean±SD age of 52.04 ± 12.26 years were enrolled. Sixty-nine percent were females. Mean±SD duration of symptoms was 11.61 ± 8.43 years. The prevalence of 25(OH)D insufficiency and deficiency was 69.9% and 17.8% successively. The univariate analysis showed a significant correlation between 25(OH)D serum concentration, number of swollen joints (p=0.024) and disease activity (p=0.012). In multivariate analysis adjusted for age, Sharp score, and C-Reactive Protein, there was a significant correlation between 25(OH)D serum concentration and disease activity (p=0.048).
Conclusions Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent and is associated with higher disease activity in our RA patients. Therefore, Vitamin D measurement and possibly vitamin D supplementation should be considered in the management of RA patients.
Disclosure of Interest None declared