Epidemiology of Rheumatoid Arthritis in a tertiary care unit, Karachi, Pakistan

Syed Mahfooz Alam, Aneela Altaf Kidwai, Syed Raza Jafri, Bilal Mazhar Qureshi, Amber Sami, Harith Hilal Qureshi, Haris Mirza

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine the frequency, demographic characteristics, associated co- morbidities and extraarticular manifestations in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) visiting the rheumatology clinic at a tertiary care hospital, Karachi. Method: A retrospective medical chart review of 4900 patients, who visited the rheumatology clinic at Liaquat National Hospital, from January 2005 to June 2007, was conducted. All patients with RA, of both gender and ages 16 years and above, who fulfilled the 1987 ACR criteria were included. Demographic characteristics, base line co-morbidity and extra-articular manifestations were recorded according to pre-defined criteria. Result: Among 4900 patients, 633 (12.9%) visited the rheumatology clinic with RA, female to male ratio being 4:1. The mean age of onset was 38.5 ± 12.4 years in females and 44.8 ± 13.12 years in males. Among the age group 16-29 years females were more affected, whereas greater number of males presented between 50-75 years of age. Co-morbidities were found in 35.38% of RA patients. Cardiovascular disease including hypertension (13.79%) and ischaemic heart disease (6.6%) were the most common co-morbidities. RA factor was positive in 85.05% of the patients with hypertension and 88.09% of the patients with ischaemic heart disease. Extra-articular manifestations were reported in 3.47% of patients. Interstitial lung disease (1.57%) was the most common extra-articular manifestation. Conclusion: Significant proportion of patients with female predominance visited the rheumatology clinic at a tertiary care hospital due to RA. Rheumatoid factor may predict the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in patients with RA. The frequency of extra-articular manifestation was lower than that reported in western population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-126
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Co-morbidities
  • Extra-articular manifestation
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis


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