Background Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune system disease, and autoimmunity is often based in diseases of the thyroid gland.
Objectives To investigate the clinical features of rheumatoid arthritis in patients who have thyroid disease.
Methods The study included 50 patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disease (group I) and a control group of 50 patients with rheumatoid arthritis who haven’t thyroid disease (group II) comparable by gender, age and duration of disease, treated in Institute of Rheumatology, Belgrade, in the period since 2006. - 2008. year. All were treated to a unique questionnaire. Activity of disease was assessed in terms of the sum of 28 DAS, functional status using the Health Assessment Questionnaire - HAQ and anatomical stage was estimated by radiography (X-ray) hand and foot (according STEINBROCKER-in).
Results The average age of all investigated patients was 60 years. (38-85), the mean duration of disease was about 12 years (1-32 years). In the group with RA and thyroid disease, 36 (72%) patients had hypothyroidism and 14 (28%) patients hyperthyreosis. Groups of patients were not significantly different from the way beginning of the disease and there was not difference in the frequency of RF levels. Rheumatoid factor was present in 70% of patients in group I and 66% of patients in group II. Between examined groups of patients there was not statistically significant difference in the number of painful and swollen joints as well as the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (p> 0, 05). The average duration of stiffness was about 1.30 hours, or 96.8 min in group I and 99.3 min in group II. The average value of the DAS 28 was similar in all groups, about 6.4, the disease is classified as a high evolutionary. The largest number of patients in the group I (62%) had moderate functional deficits but in the group of patients who had the RA and thyroid gland disease, more than half had heavier functional deficit (52.8% in the group with hypothyroidism and 57, 1% in the hyperthyroid). Difference in the frequency was statistically significant (p <0.05). Between the groups wasn’t statistically significant differences in the anatomical stage. (P> 0.05). The largest number of patients of all three groups was the anatomical stage III, while more than a 30% of patients with RA and hyperthyroidism was anatomical stage IV.
Conclusions The obtained data it can be concluded that the thyroid gland disease had not impact on the clinical activity of rheumatoid arthritis, but had a negative impact on the functional capacity of the patient and the anatomical joint damage.
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Disclosure of Interest None Declared