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Observed and expected frequency of co-morbid chronic diseases in rheumatic patients
  1. Estibaliz Loza (eloza.hcsc{at}
  1. Hospital Clinico de San Carlos, Spain
    1. Juan A Jover (jjover.hcsc{at}
    1. Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Spain
      1. Luis Rodriguez-Rodriguez (lrodriguezr.hcsc{at}
      1. Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Spain
        1. Loreto Carmona (lcarmona{at}
        1. Spanish Foundation of Rheumatology, Spain


          Objective: To estimate and compare the observed and expected prevalence of the co-existence of rheumatic diseases (RD) with other chronic conditions.

          Methods: The self-reported diagnosis of chronic conditions was obtained from the 2,192 participants in a national health survey (Spain, 1999-2000) We compared the estimated prevalence of the co-existence of a RD with other chronic conditions, to the expected prevalence using two-sample test of proportion.

          Results: The observed (O) prevalence was significantly higher than expected (E) in the following combination of self-reported diseases: RD + arterial hypertension (O/E ratio = 1.88), RD + diabetes mellitus (O/E ratio = 2.07), RD + hypercholesterolemia (O/E ratio = 1.87), RD + cardiological (O/E ratio = 1.83), and RD + digestive diseases (O/E ratio = 2.07). The prevalence of selected co-existent pairs of diseases is more frequent with increasing age and differs between women and men.

          Conclusions: The excess in prevalence of some combinations of diseases may serve as a reminder to the rheumatologists that many of their patients will have co-existent disease of which they need to be aware to properly plan their management. It may also be a sign of common risk factors between diseases or of adverse events.

          • chronic disease
          • comorbidity
          • cross-sectional Studies
          • prevalence
          • rheumatic diseases

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