Clinical Investigation| Volume 365, ISSUE 4, P337-344, April 2023

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Disease profile of rheumatoid arthritis and its complications in hispanic population

Published:January 04, 2023DOI:



      Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic autoimmune disease that is associated with functional disability and reduced quality of life. The central pathology of RA is the inflammation of diarthrodial joints, but approximately 40% of patients experience extra-articular manifestations of RA. Extra-articular manifestations are complications of RA that constitute multisystem disorders, associated with genetic and environmental conditions, and increase mortality in RA patients. Observational studies of RA patients have suggested ethnic disparities exist for minority populations; however, less is known about the distribution and prevalence of RA complications and drug-related problems (DRPs). Our objective was to construct a disease profile of RA-related complications in the Hispanic Mexican-American population compared to the non-Hispanic population of El Paso, Texas.


      A retrospective study was conducted in a Texas Tech University Health Science Center El Paso from 2009 to 2019 to assess the prevalence of RA-related complications in the Hispanic vs non-Hispanic population. The primary parameters were RA diagnosis, serological status, RA-treatment modalities, and history of associated complications. Data were extracted by chart review and correlated to disease-related and treatment-related complications. STATA was used to perform statistical analyses. A p-value of < 0.05 determined statistical significance.


      One thousand five hundred five (N=1505) patients, diagnosed with RA, were included in this study. Of the cohort, 82.52% of patients were females, 76.81% were Hispanic, and 64.12% had no smoking history. From the total cohort, seven hundred fifty-six (N=756) patients had documentation of serological markers (Rheumatoid factor (RF) and/or Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (Anti-CCP)); 78.44% of patients whose serological status was documented, were positive for RF and/or Anti-CCP. Multivariate regression analysis revealed Hispanics have 15% and 17% less risk of overall RA complications and drug-related side-effects, respectively, compared to non-Hispanics (p-value <0.0001). However, within the entire cohort, those with a family history of RA had a 44% more risk of complications compared to those without family history (p-value <0.0001). Additionally, modifiable risk factors, i.e., active smoking and alcohol use had a higher complication risk, 19% and 21%, respectively (p-value <0.0001). Significantly, all patients seropositive for RF, and/or anti-CCP had a lower prevalence of RA-related and drug-related complications. However, non-Hispanic patients seropositive for RF or anti-CCP had a higher prevalence of specific complications of RA and DRPs compared to Hispanic patients.


      In our retrospective review, analysis of sociodemographic characteristics reveals that Hispanic patients paradoxically have less risk of disease-related and treatment-related complications compared to non-Hispanic populations in El Paso, Texas. Genetic predisposition, modifiable environment/lifestyle factors had a higher prevalence of RA complications, congruent with established studies. Further analysis reveals that seropositive RA-patients have decreased complication prevalence compared to seronegative cohorts.

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