Background Comorbid conditions are frequently associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) which not only increase morbidity but also has impact on treatment and may shorten the life span of those patients.
Objectives To study the prevalence of different comorbid conditions among patients with RA.
Methods Data was collected from rheumatoid arthritis Registry in Qatar. Patients fulfilling 2010 ACR/EULAR criteria for RA were included in this observational study from period of June 2013 to November 2015. Data about Baseline demographics, treatment pattern, disease scores and details of comorbid conditions were recorded in this observational study
Results Data of 496 patients was analyzed. Demographic and disease characteristic of our RA cohort was as follows: 75.8% were female, 74.9% were positive for rheumatoid factor, 79.8% were positive for anti CCP and 31.3% have erosion at the time of data collection. One hundred thirty patients (26.4%) were receiving biologic drugs, 71.8 were on synthetic DMARDS (either as monotherapy or different combination) and 39.7% were receiving concomitant steroid.
The most commonly associated comorbid conditions were hypertension (24.2%) followed by diabetes mellitus (20.6%), dyslipidemia 10.9%, hypothyroidism 10.9%, asthma and chronic obstructive disease 1.4%.
Steroid was used by 39.2% of patients with diabetes and hypertension.
Cardiovascular events (Ischemic heart disease and ischemic stroke) occurred in 2.2% of patients and 45.5% of patients with cardiovascular events were receiving concomitant steroid. Infections requiring hospital visit were recorded in 1.8% of patients; 77.8% of patients with infection were on biologic DMARD and 33.3% were receiving concomitant steroid.
Out of Two hundred seventy six patients who underwent DXA scanning for estimation of bone mineral density, 48.6% were having decrease bone density (37% osteopenia, 11.6% osteoporosis).
Steroid use was significantly associated with decrease bone density.
Conclusions Comorbid conditions are frequently associated with Rheumatoid arthritis as observed in our cohort of patients. Patient care should not be focused only on arthritis care. All RA patients should be screened for comorbidities and treated accordingly in order to avoid their deleterious effect on patient health.
Disclosure of Interest None declared