The descriptive epidemiology of rheumatoid arthritis in Catalonia: a retrospective study using routinely collected data.
Fina-Aviles F., Medina-Peralta M., Mendez-Boo L., Hermosilla E., Elorza JM., Garcia-Gil M., Ramos R., Bolibar B., Javaid MK., Edwards CJ., Cooper C., Arden NK., Prieto-Alhambra D.
Information on the epidemiology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Southern Europe is scarce. We estimated the age- and gender-adjusted incidence and prevalence of RA in Catalonia using routinely collected primary care records. We identified incident (2009-2012) and prevalent (on 31 December 2012) cases of RA in the SIDIAP database using ICD-10 codes. SIDIAP contains anonymized data from computerized primary care records for about five million adults (>80 % of the population). We estimated age- (5-year groups) and gender-specific, and directly standardized incidence and prevalence of RA and confidence intervals (95% CIs) assuming a Poisson distribution. A total of 20,091 prevalent (among whom 5,796 incident) cases of RA were identified among 4,796,498 study participants observed for up to 4 years. Rates of RA increased with age in both genders, peaking at the age of 65-70 years. Age- and gender-standardized incidence and prevalence rates were 0.20/1,000 person-years (95% CI 0.19-0.20) and 4.17/1,000 (4.11-4.23) respectively. Rheumatoid factor was positive (≥10 IU/mL) in 1,833 (73.9 %) of 2,482 cases tested in primary care. The incidence and prevalence of RA in Catalonia are similar to those of other Southern European regions, and lower than those of northern areas. This data will inform health care planning and resource allocation.