Category: Disease - Part 18

We analyzed data from 76 RA patients and 83 controls. The two groups were similar with respect to percentages of female gender (88% and 90% for patient and control groups, respectively) and mean ages (53.0 ± 10.8 and 54.1 ± 11.3 years, respectively). The most common treatments received by RA patients were chloroquine, methotrexate 2,5 mg and their combinations with other DMARD. The clinical and laboratory variables and the detailed characteristics of the RA patients were shown in Table 1.

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In this cross-sectional study, two groups were compared: 76 RA patients, according to the RA criteria revised by the ACR in 1987, with disease duration of more than two years, admitted to our outpatient rheumatology clinics consequently were included in the patient group. All patients underwent complete clinical evaluation by the same physician (NS) and the following data were recorded; age, gender, disease duration, duration of morning stiffness, swollen and tender joint count (both by 28 joint), presence of hand deformity, patient’s assessment of pain [visual analog scale (VAS)], disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) intake as well as anti-CCP, RF, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), white blood cell (WBC), platelet (PLT), and hemoglobin values (Hb). Daily life function was assessed with the Modified Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ).

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Diagnostic Value and Clinical Significance


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic inflammatory autoimmune disease of unknown etiology, characterized by chronic polyarthritis. RA is diagnosed primarily according to clinical manifestations, and serologic support is restricted to the determination of rheumatoid factor (RF). However, its diagnostic specificity for RA is poor since RF is also found in many other rheumatic and nonrheumatic diseases and even in a noticeable proportion of normal healthy subjects, particularly in ageing individuals.

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