Epidemiology and treatment patterns of rheumatoid arthritis in a large cohort of Arab patients.

Research paper by Soha R SR Dargham, Sumeja S Zahirovic, Mohammed M Hammoudeh, Samar S Al Emadi, Basel K BK Masri, Hussein H Halabi, Humeira H Badsha, Imad I Uthman, Ziyad R ZR Mahfoud, Hadil H Ashour, Wissam W Gad El Haq, Karim K Bayoumy, Marianthi M Kapiri, Richa R Saxena, Robert M RM Plenge, et al.

Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: PloS one


There is limited information on the epidemiology and treatment patterns of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) across the Arab region. We aim in this study to describe the demographic characteristics, clinical profile, and treatment patterns of patients of Arab ancestry with RA. This is a cross sectional study of 895 patients with established rheumatoid arthritis enrolled from five sites (Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), and United Arab Emirates). Demographic characteristics, clinical profile, and treatment patterns are compared between the five countries. The majority of our patients are women, have an average disease duration of 10 years, are married and non-smokers, with completed secondary education. We report a high (>80%) ever-use of methotrexate (MTX) and steroids among our RA population, while the ever-use of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and TNF-inhibitors average around 67% and 33%, respectively. There are variations in RA treatment use between the five country sites. Highest utilization of steroids is identified in Jordan and KSA (p-value < 0.001), while the highest ever-use of TNF-inhibitors is reported in KSA (p-value < 0.001). Disparities in usage of RA treatments among Arab patients are noted across the five countries. National gross domestic product (GDP), as well as some other unique features in each country likely affect these. Developing treatment guidelines specific to this region could contribute in delivering standardized therapies to RA patients.