Prevalence of Rheumatoid Arthritis and DMARDs Usage in Indian Population: A Cross-Sectional Study

Dr. Thirumaleswara Goud


Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by symmetric and erosive
synovitis with extra-articular involvement in some cases. RA prevalence in India is 0.75%. The study is to
estimate the prevalence of RA in the South Indian population and to determine the demographic characteristics
such as gender, age, geographical locality, and usage of antirheumatic drugs. Methodology: This prospective
cross-sectional study was conducted in 600 patients of both male and female at advance rheumatology center. The
patients were selected based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. Patients who are suspected and diagnosed newly
with RA, patients who are already with RA attending the rheumatoid center and are on therapy, and patients age
equal to and above 16 years either gender are included in the study. Patients with other arthritic and immunologic
problems such as osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, spondylosis, and osteoporosis
were excluded from the study and patient’s age below 16 years are excluded from the study. Results: Among
600 patients presented to advance rheumatology center, 174 patients are identified with classical symptoms of RA,
in those female and male patients are 132 and 42, respectively. The mean age of total patients is 45.51 ± 12.09. The
estimated prevalence was found to be 0.29 or 29% (95% confidence interval is 0.25–0.33). Disease-modifying
antirheumatic drugs (36.9%) are mostly prescribed. Conclusion: This study witnessed a rise in the prevalence of
RA in South Indian population which gives alarming signals to the health authority and policymakers to increase
the awareness on RA in India.

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