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Health-related quality of life in Swedish men and women with early rheumatoid arthritis.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Reumatology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Reumatology.
2009 (English)In: Gender Medicine, ISSN 1550-8579, ISSN 1878-7398, Vol. 6, no 4, 544-554 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory joint disorder that may adversely affect health-related quality of life (HRQoL) both in established and early disease. OBJECTIVES: In patients with recent onset (<12 months) of RA, this extension of a previous study assessed HRQoL and the effect of disease activity over time. METHODS: Consecutive patients with recent onset of RA between March 1996 and November 1998 were followed for 6 years at the Department of Rheumatology of the University Hospital of Umeå in Sweden. Patients were requested to complete the 36-item Short Form (SF-36) Health Survey at 0, 24, 48, and 72 months. Gender differences were examined, and correlations between the SF-36 scales (with higher scores indicating better HRQoL) and data reflecting disease activity were analyzed. RESULTS: Fifty-one patients, 34 women and 17 men (mean age, 50.6 years; range, 20-78 years), participated in the study; in all, 41 patients completed the SF-36 at both 0 and 72 months. At inclusion (0 months), women reported significantly higher scores for physical role functioning, bodily pain, and social functioning compared with men (all, P < 0.05). At 72 months compared with 0 months, women reported significantly better mental health (P < 0.05), whereas men reported significantly better physical role functioning (P < 0.05), bodily pain (P < 0.01), mental health (P < 0.01), and vitality (P < 0.01). Additionally, at 72 months, the entire patient group rated physical role functioning and social functioning (both, P < 0.05), bodily pain and vitality (both, P < 0.01), and mental health (P < 0.001) as significantly better compared with the inclusion assessment. Overall improvement with time was significantly better for men than for women (P < 0.05). There were limited correlations between SF-36 point disease activity parameters and the SF-36 scores at 0 months (erythrocyte sedimentation rate vs physical functioning, mental health [both, P < 0.05], and bodily pain [P < 0.01]; 28-joint Disease Activity Score vs bodily pain [P < 0.05] and emotional role functioning [P < 0.01]) and at 72 months (C-reactive protein vs physical role functioning [P < 0.05]). Most of the physical subscales at inclusion correlated with the physical component summary (PCS) of the SF-36 questionnaire at 6 years. CONCLUSIONS: At disease onset, women with early RA reported better HRQoL than did their male counterparts. After 6 years, women and especially men both experienced better HRQoL, and no significant gender differences remained in any of the SF-36 scales or values for disease activity parameters. The PCS score at disease onset was the best predictor of the PCS score after 6 years.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 6, no 4, 544-554 p.
Keyword [en]
gender, health-related quality of life, rheumatoid arthritis, SF-36
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-32950DOI: 10.1016/j.genm.2009.12.001PubMedID: 20114005OAI: diva2:306815
Available from: 2010-03-31 Created: 2010-03-31 Last updated: 2012-08-13Bibliographically approved

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West, ElisabetWållberg-Jonsson, Solveig
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